Kashmir Indepth

RBI affirms currency notes potential corona carriers: CAIT

New Delhi Oct 4: The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) on Sunday said the RBI had affirmed the possibility of currency notes as potential carriers of novel coronavirus and demanded government incentives for digital payments.

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The development comes after the CAIT wrote a letter to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on March 9, 2020, seeking clarification whether or not currency notes were carriers of bacteria and viruses.

However, the letter was forwarded to the Reserve Bank of India, which replied to the CAIT and hinted that currency notes could be carriers of bacteria and viruses, including coronavirus, and therefore more and more usage of digital payments should be done to avoid handling of currency, the confederation said in a statement.

The RBI further stated that “in order to limit the coronavirus pandemic, the public can make payments by sitting at homes through various online digital channels such as mobile and Internet banking, credit and debit cards etc and avoid using or withdrawing cash to the extent possible”.

According to CAIT national president BC Bhartia and secretary-general Praveen Khandelwal, the RBI’s reply indicates that the currency notes do carry viruses and bacteria and therefore, the maximum use of digital payments to avoid handling of currency notes was advised by them.

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