RBI paper seeks to discourage use of cheque books

RBI paper seeks to discourage use of cheque booksA discussion paper floated by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has suggested that banks should charge fees for processing cash withdrawals and deposits made via cheques.

The paper on `Disincentivising Issuance & Usage of Cheques' also suggested that processing fees should be charged from institutions that keep on issuing warrants rather than crediting amounts straight to investors' accounts.

The paper also suggested that government agencies should remove convenience charges for payment of utility bills via internet.

Making the suggestions, the discussion paper said, "In order to avoid increased dependence or slippage to cash-based transactions, high (both in amount and frequency) cash withdrawals and deposits of cash by individuals may also be charged."

Some banks provide free-of-cost cheque books to their customers every quarter, while a few don't provide any free cheque books. But, the charges are very nominal, which encourage people to use more and more cheques.

The list other key suggestions includes put a cap on number of free cheque books, high fee on cheque books, ban on post-dated cheques and mandatory online payment of credit card bills.

The paper clearly seeks to discourage use of cheques for making withdrawals and deposits and to establish a "less-cash" society by encouraging adoption of electronic mode of payment.

The central bank has invited members of the public to comment on the suggestions by 28th of February.

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