India's Prime Minister has outlined a controversial plan to make India a cashless society. He recently banned the old 500 and 1,000 rupee banknotes with little warning. They are no longer legal tender in India. The old 500-rupee note was replaced by a new version. The government said the move was to stop the banknotes being used to fund terrorism, and to crack down on fake money. The ban means 80 per cent of India's currency has been withdrawn from circulation. This has brought a lot of business to a standstill. It is very unpopular among most Indians.
Mr Modi went a step further on Sunday when he called for a cashless society. He told small merchants: "This is the chance for you to enter the digital world… Learn how to run your business without cash." He said people should also learn how to use bank accounts, apps, Internet banking and other electronic modes of payment more effectively. Mr Modi said: "A cashless economy is secure. It is clean." He asked India's more tech-savvy people to help. He said: "All the youth of India can do it very quickly, and within a month, the world can see a modern India."