Panaji, Dec 8: A day after the ruling BJP said that December-end was not a practical target for making Goa India's first cashless state, Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar on Wednesday said that there would be no compulsion on registered business to turn cashless.
"There is no question of penalisation. Those (businesses) which can do it, can go ahead. Those who do it, I will pat them on their backs, but those cannot, will not be punished," Parsekar told reporters here.
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had chaired a meeting on November 26 with Goa's top bureaucrats and bankers, where he had asked them to examine modalities of making Goa, India's first cashless state by December 30.
"Cashless by December 30" has also been positioned by Parrikar and Parsekar as the party's key ambition, in a series of poll meetings conducted by the BJP across Goa, which is heading for polls in early 2017.
Parsekar also conceded that there was panic among traders and business about the cashless announcement.
"But, the fear which has been generated that (if you do not go cashless) you will be penalised, there is nothing like that," he said.
Parsekar also said that instead of going cashless, the focus would be on making Goa a "less-cash" to start with.
"In Goa, it can happen. In Goa, everyone has cellphones. Goan youngsters are smart, they can teach their parents... Such a start can happen in Goa only and in Goa and it will start in Goa," Parsekar also said.
Commenting on a circular issued by the state government's Commercial Taxes department last week, which had asked registered businesses to go cashless within 10 days, Parsekar said that the department would be asked to issue a clarification and the circular could be withdrawn.
"I have told department to clarify on this regard. It is not compulsory, it cannot be made compulsory. It could be withdrawal or giving clarification," he said.