Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday said digital transactions are a parallel mechanism, not a substitute for cash payments. He clarified that “cashless economy is actually a less-cash economy as no economy can be fully cashless”. The Union minister was speaking at the 5th Meeting of the Consultative Committee under his ministry.

Jaitley said the Centre and the Reserve Bank of India were working towards reducing the cost of digital transactions to achieve the aim of a “less-cash economy”, reported PTI. He said the government was trying to encourage cashless transactions because an excessive cash economy had its own social and economic consequences. He also pointed out the number of incentives announced by the Narendra Modi government to incentivise cashless transactions. He said the response has been positive so far.

The Union minister also said the government was aware of the cyber security challenges involved in digital methods. The Centre is working towards ensuring secured payment methods by creating strong firewalls around the system. He told the MPs gathered at the event that the government has scrapped duties on point of sale machines manufactured by two companies in China, with the objective that these machines reach merchants easily.