Coronavirus Spread: Waive Bank Charges for Digital Transactions, CAIT Urges Centre 

New Delhi: The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) on Sunday said the Central government should waive the bank charges levied for digital transactions as the RBI has affirmed the possibility of currency notes being the potential carriers of coronavirus.

According to CAIT president BC Bhartia and secretary general Praveen Khandelwal, the Reserve Bank Of India (RBI) in a report has indicated that the currency notes do carry viruses and bacteria and advised maximum use of digital payments.

Following a letter of the CAIT to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on March 9 seeking clarification whether or not currency notes can carry viruses, the ministry forwarded it to the RBI.

In its reply to the CAIT, the RBI hinted that currency notes could be carriers of bacteria and viruses, including coronavirus. In order to check the spread of the coronavirus, the public can make payments through online digital channels like mobile and Internet banking, credit and debit cards and avoid using or withdrawing cash.

The confederation urged the Finance Minister to introduce an ‘incentive’ scheme for acceptance and adoption of digital payments. “Bank charges levied for digital transactions should be waived and the government should give subsidy directly to the banks in lieu of bank charges,” a news agency quoted the CAIT as saying.

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