Currency ban makes budget schools in Karnataka cashless

'Even if we had applied for the swipe machines and the PoS, the banks would take a minimum of 15 days to get it delivered.'

Bengaluru: How many days does it take to procure a swipe or a Point of Sale (PoS) machine from banks? It’s a minimum of two weeks. Even though the Union Government is strongly pitching for a cashless economy and requesting people to opt for digital payment systems, the situation at ground is completely different. Several English medium state syllabus budget schools are suffering due to the delay in delivery of swipe machines.

Some school-heads who spoke to Deccan Chronicle, felt they are not against it, but are finding it extremely difficult to manage the mode of digital payment. “Generally budget schools have a monthly fee payment system, where parents usually pay anywhere between Rs 800 to Rs 2,000. But in the month of December, more than 50 per cent of the parents didn’t pay, citing cash crunch.

Even if we had applied for the swipe machines and the PoS, the banks would take a minimum of 15 days to get it delivered. As a result, we did not pay any of our teachers this month,” explained a Principal of a private school. “While we can’t oppose a government decision and are open to a change in the system, banks are not ready to cooperate,” he lamented.

According to D. Shashikumar, General Secretary, the Karnataka Associated Managements of English Medium Schools (KAMS), they have urged both the state and central governments to ensure ‘swipe’ or PoS at the earliest. “Budget schools are the first victims for every reform. We are running our schools with a low fee structure. Every school is being burdened this month, as parents are using the issue of demonetisation as an excuse to delay all payments,’ he said.

Schools are not the only ones affected, small-time businessmen are also suffering due to delay in delivery of swipe machines. “If we want it fast, we are forced to pay bribes to the middlemen. The entire exercise of demonetisation was introduced to destroy corruption, but everyone is taking advantage of the chaos,” said Alfred D’ Costa, a businessman.

Call drops affecting card payments
The ‘call drop’ issue is one of the problems faced by customers and shopkeepers who have opted for ‘swipe’ machines and PoS. According to customers, while making payments, due to the call drop even if money is debited from their accounts or digital wallets, it is not reflected in the account of the traders. “We are facing these kinds of problems for the last few days. Even though the digital payment system is good, technical issues are haunting both customers and traders,” explained Jayant Mehta, a trader from Chandra Layout.

CBSE push for cashless transactions
The CBSE has directed all affiliated schools to opt for cashless transactions. According to a circular issued by the board, all schools have been informed that the CBSE has introduced e-payment facilities for the collection of fees for examinations, affiliation and various activities including payments to its examination functionaries.

The Board has been directing its affiliated schools to disburse salaries to the staff through bank transfers. Furthermore, with a view to reduce cash transactions at school, all CBSE affiliated schools shall introduce fee collection from students only by online or non-cash mode payments from the next quarter commencing from January 2017 onwards. The schools should also make all payments for availing of various services, procurements, wages to contractual workers and other transactions through non-cash mode.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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