Payments for all government services in Maharashtra will have to be made via electronic means, including examination fees, hospital charges, metro/mono fares and parking charges. “With this decision we have moved to a cashless Maharashtra,” said a senior State official. The State has made a comprehensive plan to make Maharashtra cashless following the demonetisation announced last month. The new 'cashless policy' was approved by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis this week and will come into effect at the earliest. Government departments have already been directed to implement the policy earliest. In the wake of... more...
the policy, Maharashtra this week asked the Centre to mandate a POS to debit card ratio for banks and offset capital expenditure for installing PoS terminals. “We have asked the Centre to subsidise the cost of PoS, extend depreciation benefits for PoS, discontinue convenience fee and order telecommunication companies to waive the mandatory Rs 1.50 charge/ transaction charge,” said a State Finance Department official said. As users, the citizens will have the option of paying by cash along with other alternatives. Totally discontinuing cheques and other means will not be feasible. But at this point, it is not clear which areas will be totally cashless, officials said. “For now, the departments have been asked to come up with a blueprint for each specific sector, so having or not having the 'only cash' option may depend on a case-to-case basis for various sectors. For example, hospitals may keep other options open along with digital,’ a senior official said. Under the new policy, the state has decided to make electronic payment mandatory for every government services: including in lower courts, tribunals, for payment of cooperatives, housing societies, agriculture markets, and municipal corporations, autonomous bodies, among others. Senior officials said the new policy will not only give wider access to citizens, but will ensure ease of use and security of users and safety of operations, the new policy document reads. The government has already directed the departments of finance, general administration, public works, urban development, law and judiciary, public health, medical education, transport, higher and technical education to adopt the policy at the earliest. The departments have been told to take on board suggestions from retail businesses and work closely with confederation of all India traders, retailers association, and design programmes for customer education and awareness.
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