While Prime Minister Narendra Modi has appealed to the country to go cashless, interestingly it is Tripura which will be one of the first States in the country to do so. Tripura is run by the Manik Sarkar led Left government which has vehemently opposed the Prime Minister’s move to demonetize old currency. All government transactions and payments in Tripura will go online from January 1, a top official said on Thursday.
‘The government has taken initiatives to make all government transactions and payments through online system,’ Chief Secretary Yashpal Singh told reporters.
‘As a first step, bank accounts will be opened of those people who have no bank account. In Tripura, 80 per cent people have at least one bank account,’ he said.
The Chief Secretary said Union Cabinet Secretary PK Sinha had urged him to introduce the online payment system immediately. He said the state government had taken initiative to open bank accounts for the tea garden and brick kiln workers.
‘Long back the government started paying salaries of government employees into their bank accounts,” the Tripura official said. The 58 tea gardens in Tripura employ around 15,000 workers.
Demonetisation not much of an issue in Tripura
Meanwhile, the State Bank of India has started holding mobile camps in different parts of Tripura to open bank accounts of people, especially those working in unorganised sectors.
On the other hand, Finance Secretary Nagaraju said, ‘Except the shortage of small denominations, the move had not affected Tripura much because a large number of people of the State, mostly the government employees, pensioners, self-employed people, people are covered under social security schemes and business classes deal with less cash. After the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) pumped new currency notes of Rs 500, Rs 100 and Rs 50 sufficiently in Tripura, the situation has become normal.’