03/06/2015 9:39 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST

Arun Jaitley Wants Indians To Use More Plastic Money Than Cash

PRAKASH SINGH via Getty Images
Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley addresses a press conference in New Delhi on May 22, 2015. India's finance minister acknowledged May 22, 2014 that the government could miss its deadline to implement a keynote tax law amid criticism over the pace of economic reforms after a year in office. AFP PHOTO/PRAKASH SINGH (Photo credit should read PRAKASH SINGH/AFP/Getty Images)

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has said that Indians should use more plastic money — debit and credit cards — than cash, which is the dominant mode of transaction in the country.

"The developed world has moved substantially to plastic currency and payment gateways. I think there is need for India and our determination is there to gradually take steps to move in that direction," he said on Tuesday at a conference on 'Make in India - Indigenisation of Currency.'

In this year's Union Budget, Jaitley had announced plans to encourage higher use of debit and credit cards to curb circulation of black money. Cash transactions still dominate India's largely unorganized markets. A World Bank report puts India’s shadow economy at close to one-fifth of economic output.

At the same time, the government is focussing on printing more notes using ink produced in India. Currently most of the ink used to print notes is imported. “It’s about time that we start at least printing our own currency with our own ink and paper. It is not merely symbolism. It also represents a thought process where there is a desire to bring back Indian manufacturing at a particular level,” he said, adding that new new printing units at Hoshangabad and Mysore would use domestically produced paper and promote the ‘Make in India’ initiative.

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