Vendors aren’t selling like they used to. The usual clients don’t come like they used to. India’s markets are losing money since the prime minister; Narendra Modi abolished the 500 and 1,000 rupee notes.
“I’m losing money because of the government,” says Pujjar, a fish vendor in Goa. “The government only takes care of the rich, the poor will always be poor.”
“I’m losing 2,000-3,000 rupees a day,” says Chauhan, another fish vendor. “I’m throwing fish away every day.”
Modi’s surprise announcement wiped out 86% of the nation’s currency overnight, leaving the vendors at Panjim’s fish market to suffer heavy losses. “Nobody has cash, so they’re not buying fish.”
India is facing long queues at banks and ATMs in every city as people scramble to exchange their high-value banknotes. The cash crisis has hit millions of traders, as people tighten purse strings and save up precious banknotes.
But now Goa’s government has announced that the city will go “cashless,” meaning every street vendor, rickshaw driver and shopkeeper must offer their customers the option to pay using a debit card or mobile phone. The cash-free drive is attempting to close down India’s thriving parallel economy of untaxed cash transactions.
“Goa is likely to become the state in India to go for cashless transactions from 31 December,” said a government circular. “Even though cash transactions are not being banned, it is in the interest of the government to encourage cashless transactions.”
Modi’s finance minister recently announced a series of discounts on digital transactions for petrol, railway tickets and insurance policies. Modi himself urged young people to support his “less cash” economy in a radio broadcast. “I need the help of young people in India… I urge you to spend some time… to teach this technology to at least 10 families who may not know it,” he said. “Digital payments,” he says, “will prevent the use of illegal, untaxed ‘black money,’ which fuels crime, corruption and terror.”
Most of the Western world has become comfortable with digital transactions and even some places in the developing world such as Kenya and Zimbabwe.
“This is bold move by the government,” said Siddharth Kuncolienkar, a member of Goa’s legislative assembly. “Goa will be a model state and now we are all working in the direction to make that happen. No society can be 100% cashless, but what we want is that the facility to make cashless payments should be provided by every single vendor.”
Many of the poor people in India are uneducated and don’t know how to use credit/debit card machines. To help Goa go cashless, state-wide programmes are being rolled out to help people learn to use digital systems.
Another problem is that India does not have the infrastructure to make digital payments work. Power outages are routine and phone signals are very weak in many places. Whether India’s cashless drive will work remains to be seen. But Modi’s globalist plan to get rid of cash is taking the cashless agenda to a new level.
Bible prophecy tells us that the whole world will engage in religious laws with sanctions on buying and selling. No religious law that binds the conscience can be effective without restricting the use of cash.
“That no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” Revelation 13:17.