Rajasthan’s Naya Gav had claimed to become one of the first cashless villages in India. This was announced in a specially organised event in December. Three weeks on, the ground reality of the village tell a completely different story.
Contrary to the chest-thumping by the central government, people in Naya Gav now travel three kms to visit the Harmara town to withdraw cash by standing in queues for several hours.
Meanwhile, the village, which has a population of 1,600 with mostly farmers, continue to display banners declaring that it has become cashless.
A report by Times of India said that while the village officially had five point of sale (PoS) machines, Naya Gav suffers from lack of internet connectivity. Worse, the PoS machines are barely functional.
“Almost all of us in the village have an ATM card, but we cannot use them.None of the PoS machines are functional and we have to wait in queues at the nearest bank, which is in Harmara, to withdraw cash to buy supplies. Nothing has changed here,” Nandram, a shop owner was quoted by ToI.
He said that the grocery shop owners in the village were provided with PoS machines but they were barely functional.
He said, “But they are not functional and we continue to deal in cash. As there is some cash crunch following demonetisation, I also give stuff on credit. The PoS machines have not made any difference.
Another villager, Rammiya sarcastically said, “There is no money and, hence, we are a ‘cashless’ village! I have been going to the bank at Harmara for the past three days, but has failed to withdraw any money.”
This embarrassing revelation comes in the wake of similar report coming from Diu, which too was hailed by media for becoming the first cashless region in India. Days later it was revealed that the there were no truth in the claims.
The shopkeepers had said that they continued to deal in cash in the absence of adequate numbers of PoS supplied to them.