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Demonetization: Modi announces bumper prizes; 15 lakh users to get 1,000 rupees

Narendra Modi announced several ‘prize schemes’ to promote cashless transactions.

Under the schemes announced today, there will be two sets of prizes for consumers and another for small merchants.

Under the first scheme, any customer who uses any electronic form of payment, including wallets and debit cards, will qualify for a ‘lucky draw’ of Rs 1,000 each.

15,000 such prizes — each amounting to Rs 1,000 — will be given out per day.

This will be continued for a period of 100 days.

This will start on Dec 25.

In addition, there will be a weekly draw of “lakhs of rupees” each after 30 Dec.

On April 14, the birth anniversary of Babasaheb Ambedkar, there will be a “bumper draw” which will be worth far more, Modi promised.

Finally, for traders who have less than 2 cr turnover, there will be a weekly draw based on the transactions conducted via electronic formats.

The moves are targeted at promoting electronic forms of payment. Electronic payments are expected to help the government crack down on tax evasion and reduce corruption.

CARROT AND STICK?

It is likely that along with the above ‘carrot’ policies, the government could also announce more traditional methods of encouragement, such as limits on the size of cash transactions that can be carried out in the economy.

Despite the existence of robust digital payments system in India, many businesses still take wads of cash as part of their transactions.

Modi said the move to digital is inevitable and part of the evolutionary process.

“There was a time when you had to carry metal coins made of silver and gold for transactions. This gave way to paper currencies, which was far easier to manage. Now we are moving to electronic payments where the money cannot be seen,” he said at a rally today.

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