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Bihar leaders spar over demonetisation in public

By Newsd
Updated on :
Ashok Choudhary, President, Bihar Pradesh Congress Committee at his Patna Resident. Express Photo by Ravi S. Sahani.

Bihar’s IT minister Ashok Choudhary and Union minister Radha Mohan Singh sparred over demonetisation in public at the Digi Dhan Mela.

The Digi Dhan Mela organised by the state information-technology department under the aegis of Niti Aayog to create awareness about cashless transactions.

Choudhary tore into Singh’s claims once he completed speech, that the cashless push will help the economy grow in the coming years and help check corruption.

Choudhary, who spoke last at the event, pointed out that the forced electronic transactions have raised several concerns. “If the Centre is really serious in implementing a cashless economy it should withdraw all kind of charges on such transactions with immediate effect,” he said.

Choudhary, who is also the state education minister, demanded that the right to digital access should be made a constitutional right through immediately promulgating an ordinance and later through a separate bill.

Choudhary then quoted a World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) report stating that the ATM penetration in India is abysmal in comparison with other Asian countries.

“The government is making the electronic transactions almost mandatory for the common people, then it has to arrange a perfect digital connection in all cities, town and villages. It is important to note that India has only 75 ATMs per one lakh adults. If we compare it with China it has 254, South Korea has 278, North America has 221, Japan has 127 and in Thailand it has 140, according to a World Bank and IMF data,” he said.

Choudhary and his party have been organising demonstrations against demonetisation.

He also demanded that information about digital transactions and biometric data must be immediately protected from overseas agencies through appropriate legislation.