A very embarrassed Goa Government after announcing that Goa would be the first State to go cashless from 31st December has now submitted before the Goa Human Rights Commission (GHRC) that it was not the intent of the Government to ban cash transactions but it is only an attempt to facilitate business transactions in the wake of shortage of currency notes following the Demonetisation move of the Central Government.

In an affidavit filed before the GHRC, the Commissioner of Commercial Taxes Dipak Bandekar has stated that no attempt has been made to cut or stop payments using cash and that the State government was merely facilitating alternative modes of payment.

Dipak Bandekar in his affidavit filed also on behalf of the Chief Secretary has clarified that the trade circular issued was only an appeal and that it is an option and not compulsion to provide electronic modes of payment.

The GHRC headed by Retired District Judge A.D.Salkar and comprising of Mr.J.A Keny has adjourned to 23rd January hearing on the complaint filed against the State Government circular issued by the Commercial Taxes department on 30th November seeking to make all business activity in the State go cashless.

In the complaint it was stated that in absolute and gross violation of Human Rights, the Goa Government had very high-handedly and without application of mind decided that the State go cashless. It was further stated that neither the Government of India nor the Reserve Bank of India has declared that cash transactions are invalid or that cash payments are no longer valid.  It was also pointed out that use of cash is not prohibited anywhere in the world, even in those countries where substantial transactions happen through cash-less avenues.

The Commercial Taxes Department of a State has no jurisdiction to issue a circular seeking to make all business transactions cashless, when the Central law recognises cash as legal tender. It is impermissible for a State Authority to seek to belittle the Central legislation and put the common man into inconvenience. The Goa Government needs to explain as to how they have been proceeding so haphazardly in contravention of the Human Right to use currency which is a legal tender.


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