Mon 26 Dec 2016 5:25PM

Discussion: Indian Pirate Demands on Demonetization

W Wingston Public Seen by 389

By now every vegetable seller and his mother have realized that Demonetization is a poorly thought out but well intentioned scheme by our very own Central Government. The ramifications of demonetization will be felt well into the next few years and i have no doubt that out of the ashes of what is left of the Indian Economy, a phoenix will rise. That is how we Indians are wired, we grit our teeth and persevere whatever difficulties we may face.

The Pirate Party of India doesn't believe in pointing fingers or casting blame. We seek only to move forward. To that end, I propose that we take a stand on the following issues.

We can begin by discussing them

1) Eliminate Transaction fee for C2C and C2B transactions below a certain amount

If the government wishes to drag its citizens kicking and screaming into the future, they have to make sure that we don't get robbed in the process. It is imperative that it be an RBI directive (or) an action by the legislature to enforce all banks to waive transaction charges / surcharges and any and all fees for low value transactions to make it more viable to be used on a daily basis.

While one can argue that private organizations such as Paytm are enacting such measures, It is imperative that we don't fall into the trap of complacency and not understand why they are truly acting this way. Private companies like paytm can offer a 0 percent transaction charge in the short term, simply to grab a huge market share of the fintech space. They, as a for profit company who have no real obligation to anybody other than their shareholders, can just as simply slap transaction fees on moving currency out of their ecosystem at a later date.
If you think that there's no way that respectable nationalized banks would act like 3 year olds who dont want to share their toys, then you would agree that clear rules and a firm hand are the best way to disciple children lest they get too out of hand.
We must act now and get more people informed about this. Failure to do so would result in catastrophic consequences for the future of our economy.

2) Fine for hospitals who are found denying medical treatment or withholding treatment to patients with old currency.

We cannot allow ourselves to become a nation that doesn't take the safety of it's citizens safely.
All Hospitals and Medical Clinics and Pharmacies should be directed that they cannot deny treatment to any individual if he cannot pay because of the cash scarcity that has been created by demonetization.
This is a Government of India Order expressing the same sentiments.. The order however makes no note of any penalty or fine to the hospital in the event of the non compliance of this order. Hospitals should be held accountable for their actions.
exhibit A
exhibit B
exhibit C

3) Bring the following entities under the RTI act so as to allow for better public transparency into private entities especially with regard to their financial disclosures.

We do understand the complexity and backlash that can be faced on obtaining disclosure from private companies. The RTI was meant only for "public" entities namely the Government of India and associated ministries. We propose the need to expand the scope and reach of the RTI framework to hold private organizations who have their finger in a lot of public pies.
An organization / trust / charity / religios body with a tax exempt status is essentially stealing money that could otherwise be used for the public good.
But we as a country offer this status to certain bodies because we think they do good work for the public in some way or the other.
In return, they should be considered public bodies under the RTI act and should be held accountable for their actions.

> All Political Parties

We can easily tell now, that while the government rhetoric was once the capture of black money and stopping corruption, they have flipflopped quite dramatically on the matter.
We must demand that the RTI act be expanded to encompass political parties as there must be accountability of those in positions of power and influence as to what their finances were before and after demonetization.

> All Religious Organizations

It is common knowledge that since demonetization, you can go to any religious organization and exchange your old cash for new at a 30% rate. This is despicable and insulting to the millions of indians standing in line for a few thousand rupees every week. If a religious organization wants to keep its tax exempt status, they should open up their accounts as well as their members accounts to any RTI requests that they might receive.

> Any Organizations providing Mobile Wallet services

It is as important to make sure that private for-profit organizations like paytm be watched carefully as they are now in a position to enable very privacy invasive programmes without any accountability and legal framework to stop them.
Paytm would soon be considered basically like a new breed of bank in the indian fintech sector and we must be vigilant and be careful of how they use the power they are amassing with such ease.

4) Start an initiative for free public wifi in marketplaces to allow for a low barrier of entry for cashless transactions.

If we are truly moving towards a cashless and digital India, the government should start an initiative for free public wifi. This while being a tall order to work out logistically, can be managed by offerring tax rebates to small buisnesses who open up their guest wifi for the public consumption. It is the easiest way to make sure that we have a decentralized system for public who might not have access to broadband internet to get some sort of access for the same.

5) Offer Subsidies for Startups engaged in the fintech sector.

The Government should add offer investment and provide encouragement and regulatory support for startups who are engaged in the fintech sector. Innovation is a very deep routed quality in Indians and we will always persever and find solutions to the problems that we face.


Pirate Bady Tue 27 Dec 2016 9:21PM

good points. also i read that UPI is better than other mobile wallet solutions in some ways. shouldn't we add that to the discussion as well?


Wingston Wed 28 Dec 2016 6:29AM

UPI is pretty good and i feel it's one of the good things that RBI has done. I would feel that it's best using that instead of services like Paytm


Pirate Praveen Wed 28 Dec 2016 7:44AM

I don't feel comfortable jumping into cashless economy band wagon. I don't really trust our government or the banks to not misuse the power they get when cash is eliminated. We should instead promote using cash for all small transactions. I agree with point 3. I don't think we have to shy away from criticizing bad policies. 1 and 2 is okay, but I don't think we should demand it though. 4 is of less priority, we should instead be pressing the govt to invest in more important areas like education and health care. I want internet access as a right to every one but we should not mix it with demonitization. I don't support 5.


Manohar Elavarthi Mon 2 Jan 2017 1:34AM

Agree. Low literacy levels, access to internet, lack of laws to protect right to privacy should be kept in mind. Investing in education, health, housing, access to drinking water, increasing income for farmers, increasing minimum wages should be our priorities.


[deactivated account] Fri 13 Jan 2017 7:17PM

I agree with @praveenarimbrathod here.. also noting worthwhile would be the number on internet shutdowns in the country.. Kashmir alone had over a 100 days of internet shutdown in 2016!

Also , the fact that USSD transactions are unencrypted is a whole other topic ..
So it seems like there are quite a few hurdles on a technological basis TOO for a casheless society to be successful... add to this the fact that the present government argued in court that "right to privacy is NOT a fundamental one" ... also, we dont really have a proper privacy law in place.