After 2 months, digital unready; LPG, Railways, RTC insist on cash

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Online booking is available for long-distance trains but not all counters are equipped to accept credit or debit cards.

Hyderabad: Nearly two months after demonetisation and the push towards digital economy and cashless payments, many government departments are still insisting that the people pay cash that is hard to find.

The government is offering 0.75 per cent subsidy for paying for LPG cylinders online, but the companies have not publicised their online payment system. Sources said less than one per cent of customers pay online.

Due to the errors in a pilot project, Centralised Dealers & Consumer Management System, those who pay online get the refill cylinder 10-15 days later. Those who pay cash on delivery get it in three days.

This has resulted in customers having to pay cash to take delivery of refill cylinders. But there is a hassle: LPG dealers and delivery personnel do not have point of sale swipe cards.

The South Central Railway is upgrade to digital transactions. After demonetisation, the SCR provided PoS machines at all the MMTS stations and a few bigger railway stations. It is still insisting on cash payments at other places. Online booking is available for long-distance trains but not all counters are equipped to accept credit or debit cards.

The Road Transport Authority, accessed by 5,000 citizens across the state every day, has taken all services online except the payment of `10 service charge and Rs 50 for reservation of vehicle number.

The GHMC and the Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board have adopted the cashless payment system but bill collectors and staff are accepting cash payments at the doorstep from residents.

The Road Transport Corporation, which serves lakhs of commuters per day, does not have digital transaction systems bus stations and in buses. The RTC management has formed a committee on the matter and by Monday will instal PoS machines at its ticket counter at Siddipet.

An official said the corporation had approached SBH for supply of PoS machines, and these will be installed at all depots phase-wise. The RTC will require at least six months to go cashless, if the PoS machines are supplied in time. The committee reviewed smart cards but dropped the idea as it could cost the RTC about Rs 200 crore.

MeeSeva accepts payments for more than 300 services, including municipal taxes, water and power bills. Of the 110 MeeSeva centres in the city, just five take payment by cards. While the MeeSeva makes payments online for the different services, users will have to pay cash. MeeSeva deputy engineer P. Srinivas said 50 PoS machines were being procured in Phase-I for the city.

School fee
The primary and secondary education departments are collecting exam and other fee from students in cash. Students pay their examination fee at schools, and the money is deposited by headmasters in the department concerned in the form of demand drafts. Universities make do with demand drafts.

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