|New Delhi, March 26 (PTI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi today urged people to use less cash in their daily lives and continue to support the movement towards digital payments, started after the note recall in November.|
"My dear countrymen, we must take our fight against black money and corruption to the next level.... We should contribute towards ensuring a reduction in the use of cash, of currency notes," he said in his monthly Mann Ki Baat radio programme,
Modi exhorted the public to pay school fees online and buy medicines, goods and air and train tickets digitally.
"We can do this in our day-to-day lives. You can't imagine how you can serve the country in this way and become a brave soldier in the fight against black money and corruption," he said.
Observing that the budget had announced there would be 2,500 crore digital transactions this year, he said that if the 125 crore Indians wanted, "they need not wait for a year, they can do it in six months".
Modi said the country had over the past few months witnessed an atmosphere in which people had in large numbers participated in the "Digidhan" movement for digital payments.
"There has also been an increase in curiosity about cashless transactions. The poorest of the poor are making attempts to learn, and people are gradually moving towards doing business without cash. There has been a surge in various modes of digital payment after demonetisation," he said.
Modi added that the BHIM App, launched about two-and-a-half months ago, had already been downloaded by one-and-a-half crore people.
He greeted the people of Bangladesh on their Independence Day and referred to the two countries' shared memories of Rabindranath Tagore, who wrote both their national anthems.
The Prime Minister lauded Tagore's renunciation of his knighthood in protest against the 1919 Jallianwala Bagh massacre and cited how the killings had inspired a 12-year-old Bhagat Singh to become a freedom fighter.
Modi referred to Mahatma Gandhi's Champaran Satyagraha and how "he could inspire the poorest of the poor, the most illiterate, to unite and come together" to fight British rule.
He mentioned his government's "very important decision" to give working women maternity leave for 26 weeks, instead of the earlier 12 weeks.
He also talked about his pet Swachh Bharat drive and discouraged the waste of food.