War on Cash in India but Cash is still King

In one year, the cash supply grew 22% as people held on to it to deal with downturns and medical emergencies. 

While the Covid-19 pandemic has provided a fillip to cashless transactions globally in a socially distanced world, cash continues to be king in India.

Recent data released by the Reserve Bank of India states that currency in circulation grew by about 13% in the first nine months of the current fiscal year as people preferred holding cash as a precautionary measure amid the uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

As of January 1 this year, the currency in circulation crossed 27.7 trillion rupees (US$378 billion) from 24.47 trillion ($333 billion) on March 31, 2020. On a calendar year basis, the currency in circulation grew by more than 5 trillion rupees, or 22%, from January 1, 2020, onward.

In the wake of the economic uncertainty caused by Covid-19 and to deal with any untoward medical emergencies, people preferred having cash as a precautionary measure.

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The cashless society from an ethical point of view

The debate about the move towards a cashless society has been at the center of the scene for several years, now. Various angles have been taken by economists, politicians, banking institutions and sociologists. Beyond the technicalities of the debate, lies the question of freedom, of inter-citizen solidarity and of governmental responsibility. The debate cannot remain in the hands of financial specialists, it is first and foremost an ethical, political and societal issue.

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