Digitisation ensures that people pay taxes: Paytm Chief

Digitisation ensures that people pay taxes: Paytm Chief

Digital payments leave a financial trail that makes acts of corruption impossible

The Dollar Business Bureau 

Paytm chief Vijay Shekhar Sharma has recently shared his views on how his mobile app popularly known as Paytm can help India eradicate corruption. 

He said that digitisation would eventually end corruption because digital payments put an end to unaccounted money, making payment of tax on every transaction mandatory. Elucidating the scale of the problem, he also gave instances of corruption that are dime a dozen all over the country. Not even a simple business licence is issued in India without bribery making an appearance. The malice has become a norm in running of businesses, starting right at the bottom, at the grass route level. 

To be able to meet a bureaucrat, it is the peon whose pockets need to be filled first, even when you have an appointment with the concerned person. Unless he’s given ‘chai pani’, the peon would either not pass the message to the official or wilfully delay your meeting and make you wait. Of the 1.2 billion people of India, only five million pay tax. Even those who file tax returns do so in high disproportion with their actual earnings. 

The Paytm chief shared his own experience about corruption in the country. In Kerala, while commuting on a ferry through the waterways, he had to pay the gatekeepers to make his transit faster. Otherwise, the gates wouldn’t open quickly. 

Also, he said that a lot of financial transactions happen in cash and most of them aren’t mentioned in records. Demonetisation, he said, was done in-order to encourage electronic transactions. Even then, hoarders of unaccounted money got away by asking the poor to deposit money in their accounts. The tax deduction against money deposited at the banks worked in their favour. In-return, rich promised the poor that their debts would be waived. 

Even after all the trouble, the rich couldn’t escape getting caught as huge deposits in the bank accounts of the poor raised red flags at the IT department. 

The money trail that digital transactions leave behind shall put an end to the whole problem. This is where Paytm plays a vital role, Vijay said, in eradicating corruption from the roots. Digitisation ensures that all spending is recorded, which will compel people to disclose their earnings as well and pay taxes sincerely. After all, of what use is the money that you have earned but cannot spend?

The Dollar Business Bureau - Jan 20, 2017 12:00 IST