Cabinet colleagues tell Telangana CM to go slow on cashless move

Cabinet colleagues fear that it will have implications on the party's prospects in the 2019 elections.

Hyderabad: Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao has received a word of caution from his own Cabinet colleagues and TRS party leaders about his enthusiasm towards making Telangana state switch to a cashless economy. They fear that it will have implications on the party’s prospects in the 2019 elections.

The Chief Minister, who is on a mission to transform TS into a cashless economy is said to be shocked at his ministers and party leaders’ assertion that it would be difficult to fight the elections in 2019 because it would not be possible to raise funds in a cashless economy.

They informed him that they had managed to raise Rs 10 crore to Rs 20 crore each during the 2014 elections from traders, realtors etc., as loans for poll expenses, and especially to distribute in slums, whose residents form a major chunk of voters. But traders and realtors will find it difficult to arrange for funds in future if the cashless economy idea bears fruit.

They told the Chief Minister that his suggestion of campaigning in digital mode like the “US model” to cut down expenses will not work here anytime soon.

Minister tells KCR he couldn’t raise Rs 2 crore
Mr Rao has been holding extensive consultations with ministers, party MLAs and other leaders to devise measures for a cashless economy.

TRS sources said that a city-based minister told the Chief Minister that he could raise a loan of Rs 10 crore from traders for the 2014 election and repaid it in a year. He enjoyed goodwill among traders for prompt repayment due to which he has been able to raise any amount without any difficulty since 2004 elections. But that will not be the case now, the sources said.

When he sought a loan of Rs 2 crore recently he could not get it. When he enquired the reason, the traders blamed demonetisation and stated that it would be tough to arrange for funds in 2019, if the TS government moves towards cashless economy.

The Chief Minister was also surprised to know that 12 of the 18 ministers in his Cabinet do not possess either a debit or credit card and have never done cashless transactions. The consultations revealed that nearly 70 per cent of MLAs and MPs are unaware of cashless transactions.

Party leaders urged the Chief Minister to go slow on his cashless economy idea since it is already inviting the wrath of the people in slums and lower income groups in urban and rural areas, whose livelihoods have been badly hit due to the currency shortage. The party leaders are afraid of visiting their home constituencies fearing a backlash.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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