4 Years After Demonization, Cash Still Used For These Payments


Four years after demonetisation, cash is majorly still used for low-value transactions such as buying groceries and making payments to domestic staff. According to a latest survey conducted by community social network LocalCircles, the top categories of purchases for which citizens paid the most amount in cash without a receipt were grocery (for 39 per cent respondents), and salaries for domestic staff (for 31 per cent out of the 15,376 respondents) in the last 12 months. Even though these categories of payments are considered to be of low-value, Income Tax laws in India have prescribed that payments in cash cannot be made to an individual beyond a daily limit of ₹ 10,000.

Similarly, laws have prescribed different restrictions on payments in cash without receipt which applies to businesses as well as individuals. Four years ago, on this day (November 8, 2016), Prime Minister Narendra Modi had demonetised ₹ 500 and ₹ 1000 notes, to curb the black money problem that has been among the primary reasons for the government to lose tax revenue. The move was aimed at fighting black money, creating a cashless economy, and eliminating fake notes. While demonetization was supported by many, implementation issues of the system plagued the common man which caused a huge inconvenience to deposit and withdraw money.

The GST system coupled with demonetization helped in boosting digital payments in India, it was actually the COVID-19 pandemic that gave a leg up to the digital payment ecosystem across the country. Due to safety concerns of using currency notes and coins, customers made greater use of electronic payment methods.