Link Bank Mitras with Mobile Apps and NREGA to solve Problems Faced due to Demonetization

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Dear PM Narendra Modiji,
Please activate the network of “bank mitras”, that you  used to make the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) a great success- to alleviate the problems faced by people in small towns and villages due to the demonetization program undertaken by you.

The bank mitras who were used by your government very aptly to help people in backward or unbanked areas to open bank accounts will still be familiar to the people of those areas and the bank mitras will also know the area and the people around there.

What you can do is that you send bank mitras to the above mentioned places armed with smartphones which have apps like PayTM and M-PESA. They can visit the villages, meet with the sarpanch or head or visit town councils. Then they can either go to meet different people or the people might be asked to come to them.

Then the people should be allowed to deposit their 500 and 1000 rs notes with these bank mitras which the mitras will record by inputting those amounts into their PayTM wallets. Or the banks should be asked to give credit to the PayTM wallets which will be deducted/calculated once the bank mitras return back to the bank branches in those areas and deposit the amount that they have received from the people.

Let me simplify the above paragraph with an example- A bank mitra when starting out is credited say Rs.10000 in his PayTM wallet. When a person deposits money to the bank mitra-say Rs. 2000. The bank mitra either sends the money to that person’s bank account directly or exchanges the Rs. 2000 paid in the old 500 or 1000 rs notes for new ones. This the bank mitra does by deducting from his PayTM wallet and at beginning and the end of the entire process the bank mitra shows him how much money there was in the PayTM wallet and how much money is left after the exchange or deposit. Now there is 8000 rs left in the wallet of the bank mitra and he is ready to receive the money from the next person. If the amount in the PayTM wallet ends the bank mitra calls up the bank who gives further credit. At the end of the day the bank mitra return back to the local bank branch and staff in the bank calculate and match the amount credited to the bank mitra and amount they have received in their accounts   and the hard currency the bank mitras have brought back. 

Also people should be allowed to withdraw only amounts equal to the NREGA payment with the possible addition of money for commodities like fuel for cooking, medical expenses and food (this the government has already calculated it in its various experiments when it was trying to replace rations with cash, for example in Chhattisgarh and Delhi – just calculate inflation and arrive at a new amount).  If someone wants extra money he/she can always go to a bank branch and withdraw or exchange there.

This plan is not ideal but this way people will get some legal tender at least (something is better than nothing) and the existing structures of governance are not overstretched as the same organs will be used as when implementing the NREGA scheme.

Also please provide the bank mitras with some police protection

I hope you find this plan useful

With Best wishes,

Monish Borah

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