Demonetisation has caused inconvenience at all levels’

New Delhi: The demonetisation move has caused “inconvenience at all levels”, activist Ela Bhatt said today as she pitched for an economy where both cash and digital payments co-exist.

“We are running a co-operative bank of SEWA members. It has suffered and not treated equally with other nationalised banks. Because of the imbalance lending activities have stopped and borrowers are not able pay their debt back,” said Bhatt, founder of Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) and a Padma Bhushan awardee, here.

Speaking at an event after releasing books on “Empowerment of home-based workers in India”, “Innovative interventions to promote gender justice and education access in India”, Bhatt said that women in small businesses and medium are suffering.

“Particularly those in rural areas who do not have banking experience are bearing the brunt,” Bhatt said.

She said, “I don’t think cashless payments would be put in place very easily. It is a deep culture and needs lot of digital gadgets to make a payment happen. We have to learn to balance between both cash and cashless payments.”

The books released were an outcome of 18-month-long project on ‘Livelihood Creation in India’ taken up jointly by Harvard South Asia Institute and Tata Trusts.