The Indian economy is largely dependent on cash. Only 5 per cent of the country's personal consumption expenditure is done electronically. A sharp acceleration of economic growth is not possible with such kind of dependence on cash. Overdependence on cash is a major hurdle and a radical thinking and coordinated efforts are needed to take electronic payments system to the masses.
In 1985, perhaps the best year in his term, Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi made a startling statement. Addressing young bureaucrats, he said only about 15 per cent of every rupee, that is 15 paise of every single rupee, spent for the poor actually reached the poor and the rest disappeared in a mysterious swamp somewhere in-between. He said, he reached this conclusion based on historical and existing evaluations and estimates given to him by officials in the field. His assertion became one of the oft-quoted postulations in India's governance debate ever since.