School of Law

Dr Subhajit Basu 'More than 600m Indians don’t have cards. So how can the country ban cash?'

12 December 2016 | Katie Hempshall

Dr Subhajit Basu has recently authored an article for Wired.co.uk which argues that India must ‘close its gaping digital divide’ before it makes the country cashless.

The article ‘More than 600 million Indians don’t have cards. So how can the country ban cash?’ highlights the current situation in which India finds itself; a government which is pushing for a cashless society, and a population of which only 4.4% have ‘access to a credit or debit card and ‘less than 300 million use the web’.

Subhajit argues that the poor have not been considered in the bid for a cashless economy, with ‘lack of education’ being one of the main barriers to the natural diffusion of a digital economy with zero cash.  He argues that the digital divide along with the lack of access to a bank account or a debit or credit card is ‘disempowering, discriminating, and fosters dependency’. He asserts that ‘ a government’s action should not put the poor in a disadvantaged position that they do not have the tools or means to circumvent.’ He concludes the article by commenting that ‘good intentions are nothing, if they are not backed by common sense.’

Read the full article here

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