This Article is From Nov 29, 2016

Impossible To Transit To A Cashless Economy, Now Or In The Future: Adi Godrej

The 74-year-old Adi Godrej's own businesses have been impacted by the cash crunch.

New Delhi: From curbing black money, the government now says that the demonetisation drive is meant to speed up the shift to a cashless economy.

But Adi Godrej, Chairman of Godrej Group - one of India's leading conglomerates that spans interests from real estate to consumer products - told NDTV that it is "impossible to transit to a cashless economy".

"We can make use of cash less prevalent by using other means for transfer of funds but I don't think cashless economy can be achieved at all in the near or distant future. There is no economy in the world, even the most developed economies are not cashless, said Mr Godrej.

The 74-year-old's own businesses have been impacted by the cash crunch. Godrej Appliances reported a dip in sales of around 60-70 per cent after demonetisation. But he says he is "not very concerned if sufficient cash is made available in the next two to three weeks."

If it is further delayed, he says, "the government can get a lot of notes printed abroad. They should get them printed and bring them to India. There are, I think, six or seven large international suppliers of currencies all over the globe."

As for concerns over the impact on growth, he says there will be a short term impact while there is currency shortage. "Once the currency shortage is taken care of, then I think growth can be restored. In fact, we can make up for it," he says.

But if cash is not available at an early date, he says "there will be a long damage to the economy."