Times Network, the broadcast arm of the Times Group, initiated 'Remonetise India - A Citizen's Pledge', a nationwide crusader campaign, urging Indians to take the next step from demonetisation and Pledge for Growth.
Keeping the government's vision in mind, Remonetise India is an initiative by Times Network which calls all the citizens of India to come out and make a difference. Urging the citizens to be the change agent for the changes they want to see, and bring India's economy back on track, Times Network conducted a LIVE Telethon from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm, across all channels of the network and connected viewers to opinion and policy makers, encouraged them to invest more and educated them about moving to a digital and a less cash economy.
The LIVE telethon was set in motion and moderated by Faye Dsouza, Editor, Magicbricks and Anand Narasimhan, Sr. Anchor and Editorial Consultant at TIMES NOW and witnessed the participation of eminent personalities like Ravi Shankar Prasad (Union Minister for IT, Law and Justice), Nirmala Sitharaman (MoS (Independent Charge), Ministry of Commerce and Industry Minister for Commerce), Amitabh Kant (CEO of Niti Ayog), Narayana Murthy (Founder of Infosys), Deepak Parekh (Chairman of HDFC), Sunil Munjal (Joint - MD of Hero Corp), Kunal Bahal (CEO of Snapdeal), Abhiraj Bhal (Co Founder of Urban Clap) and author Chetan Bhagat.
Commenting on the occasion, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Union Minister for IT, Law and Justice, said, "Narendra Modi's Government is a transformative Government. India is home to 50 crore internet and 30 crore mobile users. Penetration of mobile phones in rural areas is significant. Demonetisation has crippled terrorism and maoism in the country. Indians have a passion for technology. India's push towards digital payments has been remarkable. Digital India, Make in India, Skill India, and Startup India among others are designed to make India an empowered society. India Digital economy is going to be a one trillion dollar economy in the coming five years."
While take questions from viewers, Nirmala Sitharaman said, "Demonetisation hasn't had any significant impact on jobs recorded. Impact on jobs, if any, was only in the first 10 days of demonetisation. 87-90 % of our economy is a parallel economy and normalcy is getting restored, as all ATMs have been recalibrated in the country. PM has already announced SOPS for sectors that need help. We're not talking of a completely cashless economy but only saying there should be less cash which is being used. Salute to those who are spreading awareness about digitisation."
M K Anand, MD and CEO, Times Network said, "This is the first time any Indian network has done a simulcast on all its channels, and that too unsponsored and without an ad break. Today, I am extremely proud that I work for a network which can pursue such an audacious and worthy purpose. India is run by those who watch Times Network channels. We engage, inform and inspire Indians who lead India in every walk. If all Times Network viewers can be convinced to take the 'Remonetise India' pledge, we are certain that India will be on its world beating fast track in just two months. We believe we can do that."
Narayana Murthy said, "The country agrees with the PM that corruption needs to be reduced. We still have a long journey to make India digital as all the infrastructure needs to be built up for the country to go totally digital. The number of micro ATMs in the country as well as ATMs is small compared to developed countries. If our banks can replace all the debit/credit cards with Aadhar link, it will become easier and help the country to go fully digital.''
Amitabh Kant said, "We must ensure to convert informal economy to formal economy for growth because economy cannot grow rapidly when a parallel black economy exists. Printing, transport, storing cash and handling cash is an expensive proposition and thus a threefold strategy has been planned to reach out to the entire population for remonetisation. For people with smart-phones, Bhim App is a great enabler. In India, we have taken a huge campaign mode initiative to embed every single account with Aadhaar. 40 crore accounts have Aadhar embedded into them and thus, Aadhaar will enable India to technologically leapfrog in many ways and so the challenge for all of us is to spread this movement."
Deepak Parekh said, "Demonetisation has been a game changer and was a part of a bigger plan of the Government. It also ensured that smaller home developers' got formalised. The Indian economy has been resilient to the change as anticipated earlier and needs to move forward from demonetisation which was used to oust black money. Majority of the people continue to support this endeavour of the Government. There is a deep conviction that India will emerge as a much stronger force after demonetisation. The biggest advantage for homebuyers will be lower interest rates, transparency and no large cash payments and thus, we also hope that many developers will now move towards affordable homes."
Sunil Munjal said, "For an economy to become digital, reach is important and one must ensure infrastructure is present for this transition. From a company's point of view, we need to find alternatives to make payments. We also need to watch out for contemporary changes that are taking place across the world and encourage multiple ways of cashless transactions."
Kunal Bahal said, "Demonetisation has opened up lots of opportunities for us. We have seen a significant increase in cashless payments in smaller cities as about half of all payments are being done in a cashless manner."
Abhiraj Bhal said, "A large strata of the society is not banked. There are no extra or hidden charges if you are paying digitally because E-commerce firms are right now bearing transaction charges."
Commenting on the occasion, Chetan Bhagat said, "Cash is a very convenient thing, but at the same time digital payments will come in. Cashless does not mean taking loans. Technology will help people get used to digital transactions. I urge banks to give more incentives for debit/credit cards.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)