14 June, 2021

Dash For Cash

Digital transactions are yet to break India’s love affair with cash. Here’s why.

Photograph by Suresh K. Pandey
Dash For Cash

Circulation of currency grew by 13%

  • March 31, 2020 Rs 24,47,312 cr
  • January 1, 2021 Rs 27,70,315 cr


Love for cash seems to know no bounds in India. Two events within a short span of time–demonetisation announced in November 2016, which led to long queues outside ATMs, and then the Covid-induced lockdown in March-June 2020—have reaffirmed that “cash is king”. The latest report of the country’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India, states that currency in circulation grew by around 13 per cent in the first three quarters of the current fiscal. From Rs 24,47,312 crore on March 31, 2020, it went up to Rs 27,70,315 crore on January 1, 2021. The trend was already hinted at in the RBI’s Annual Report 2019-20, which said that demand for currency started to increase in the wake of heightened uncertainty due to the pandemic. “The main driving factor is the precautionary motive in uncertain times. Also,...

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