The dream of cashless economy : challenges

(An interview of Zulfiqar Sheth (PhD Research Scholar, Department of Economics, Aligarh Muslim University, on “The dream of cashless economy : challenges ” published in Dainik Jagran Dated 6 December 2016. )

Zulfiqar sheth argued the major challenges are financial illiteracy, low bank account penetration,  poor internet connectivity and dependency of informal sector on cash.

The large no. of Indians still depend on agriculture and lives in rural areas. According to 2011 census nearly 30% Indians can’t read and write their name. Out of many who are literate they do not know banking and are habituated to do their all transactions in cash.Without financial literacy the dream of cashless economy is not possible.

Approx. 28%-32% of Indians have access to financial institutions, including post offices and banks. Further, 33% of the 138,626 bank branches are in 60 Tier-1 and Tier-2 cities, leaving rural India at a huge disadvantage. Migrants laborer, and other weaker sections do not posses ID card and other documents require for KYC norms of banks. Moreover the cumbersome process of account opening keeps many people away from banking.

Internet connectivity is also a problem that we have to solve before we set for complete cashless economy.

India’s economy is largely dependent on unorganized sector. Most of our employment are created here and this sector is heavily dependent on cash transactions. In Cashless economy cycle-rickshaws / autos will be replaced by cabs and small vendors / shopkeepers will be replaced by large shopping malls.

Thus, the dream of cashless economy can only be achieved  once we promote financial literacy at all level, increase bank account penetration,  maintain good internet connectivity  and assure cyber security. We also need to pay heed towards problems faced by informal sector. Here the role of government, administration, policy makers, youth, students, teachers, civil society organizations, and  NGOs become crucial.

Read here the full interview in Hindi.

An interview of  Zulfiqar Sheth, (PhD Research Scholar, Department of Economics, Aligarh Muslim University) on “The Dream of cashless economy : challenges” published in Dainik Jagran dated 6th December 2016



Stop black deeds – Stop black money

Mr Sheth Zulfiqar is a doctoral fellow at the Department of Economics, Aligarh Muslim University. Here is his interview with National Daily Dainik Jagran regarding how to bring black money back dated 12th April 2016.

black money jagran  interview _ Sheth
Interview of Mr Sheth Zulfiqar, PhD research scholar, Aligarh Muslim University with Dainik Jagran 12th April 2016 

BREXIT and It’s Impact on Indian Economy

Compiled by Zulfiqar Sheth


Brexit is the term coined for Britain’s referendum to exit the European union. The referendum was done on 23rd June 2016 and 51.9% Britishers voted to leave the European Union.

Impact on Indian Economy 

1) Export : India’s exports to EU and Britain stood at USD 35.35 billion and USD 9.35 billion in 2015-16, respectively. Currency volatility post Britain’s decision to exit from the EU may put pressure on India’s exports in the immediate future as both British Pound and Euro will depreciate, giving greater competitiveness to their products, exporters’ body Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO)said. Indian pharma industry which has more exposure towards Europe, will also be affected.

2) Currency: Brexit affects the rupee through both trade and the financial channels. The UK and European Union account for 23.7% of the rupee’s effective exchange rate, according to Nomura Research calculations. The UK’s exit could lead to a prolonged period of risk aversion in the equity markets which could spark foreign portfolio investor outflows and add to the rupee’s weakness.

3) Capital flow : “If Europe goes into recession, Japan will follow suit and that will slow down growth in the US. And if that happens, it will trigger a huge global risk-off trade and FII selling, which in turn will affect India as well” Ambit Investment Advisory CEO Andrew Holland said to Business Line. Yogesh Radke, head of quantitative research at Edelweiss Securities Ltd, says that FII net long positions in the index futures market amounted to Rs.13,600 crore on 10 June, the highest since March 2015. But by Thursday, these had been trimmed to Rs.7,000 crore. Some of this could be the impact of the so-called Rexit (the decision of Rajan to step down from the central bank). With Brexit becoming a reality in a week’s time, it is becoming one too many an exit for investors.

4) Commodities :The recovery in commodity prices in recent months has hit a bump with Brexit. Since 1 January, the Bloomberg Commodity Index was up by 13.4% as of 23 June, with Brent crude up by 37%, S&P GSCI Agriculture Index up by 14%, and the Bloomberg Industrial Metals Index up by 9.5%. On 24 June, these were down by varying degrees, with crude oil suffering a 5.2% decline while the Bloomberg Commodity Index was down by 1.4% at the time of writing.The immediate impact of Brexit has seen the US dollar appreciate and this usually sees commodities with strong links to financial markets weaken. Since money gravitates towards the appreciating dollar, commodities take a back seat.

Links (compiled from)


Brexit will affect Indian Business specially Export led Industries. Aligarh lock industry will suffer. Dainik Jagran 25 June 2016


AMU research scholar participates in South Asia Scholars Forum at Bangladesh

Zulfiqar Sheth, a doctoral fellow at Department of Economics, Aligarh Muslim University has participated in “South Asia Research Scholars’ Forum” which was held in Bangladesh recently. The forum aimed at “Envisioning the Peaceful and Prosperous Communities in South Asia and Beyond”. Sheth was part of a six-member delegation from India that participated in the meet.

Sheth discussed and deliberated on opportunity and challenges for promoting peaceful and harmonious communities in South Asia and beyond through strengthening solidarity and regional and international cooperation amongst culturally diverse regions at Joypurhat and Dhaka University. He was also conferred with best country representative award in the forum.

Building common currency among the BRICS nations -a tough job to achieve.


BRICS Countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa)  make up approximately 40% of the world population and control 25.9% of the total geographic area of the world. BRICS make up 25% of the global GDP. Various estimations show that BRICS currencies could appreciate by 300% by 2050. 
BRICS holds 3.93 trillion in foreign reserves.The rising middle class in these countries has increased their purchasing power.The GDP Growth rates for BRIC Countries are much higher than in developed countries markets.By 2050, three of the largest four economies will be from Asia.
Why the single currency in BRICS Region ?
1) Elimination of fluctuation risks and exchange costs
2) Strengthening of single market
3) closer co-operation among Member States for a stable currency and economy
4) Common market for trade
5) More choice and stable prices for consumers and citizen
6) Greater security and more opportunities for businesses andmarkets
7) Improved economic stability and growth
8) More integrated financial markets
9) A stronger presence for the BRICS in the global economy

Building common currency among BRICS nations By Zulfiqar Sheth– Pros and Cons for India – PPT

brics 01
Building common currency among the BRICS nations – by Zulfiqar Sheth

Global Youth Conference 2012

The Global Youth Conference (GYC) is World Bank’s Youth-to-Youth Community (Y2Y) annual flagship event to engage the broader development community with youth around the world.

This year’s GYC aims to have an inclusive agenda addressing global youth unemployment crisis, following one of the core millennium development goals of the United Nations and the World Bank Group to: “achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all, including women and young people.”

The Conference will also be alligned with the launching of World Bank’s World Development Report 2013 on Jobs, and its main objective is to:

Raise awareness and gain momentum of global youth unemployment issues; Inspire youth to take action and empower them to become part of the solution and; Bridge generations and gender barriers to tackle the challenges together

The GYC will host discussions panels from different international experts about current pressing situation of youth unemployment and steps taken to enhance and create job opportunities in diverse sectors of economy.

Conference time and venue:

World Bank Main Complex, 1818 H Street NW, Washington, DC

between 9:30am and 5:15pm

Register here  –