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"End financial untouchability for freedom from poverty"
""Vish-chakra se gareebon ki aazadi ka parv" – celebration of liberation of the poor from a poisonous cycle"
"A record unprecedented in economic history – 1.5 crore bank accounts opened in one day"

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today declared the beginning of the end of financial untouchability in India, with the opening of an estimated 1.5 crore bank accounts across the country, in an exercise unprecedented in scale in economic history. 

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Formally launching the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) at a function broadcast across the nation from Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi, the Prime Minister described the occasion as a festival to celebrate the liberation of the poor from a poisonous cycle. (Vish-chakra se gareebon ki aazaadi ka parv)
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Expressing satisfaction at a number of records being broken today, the Prime Minister said the nationwide success of the enrolment drive today would give confidence not just to the officials of the Department of Financial Services and banking sectors, but also to officers across the Union Government, that they can successfully achieve the goals that they set for themselves. "Never before would insurance companies have issued 1.5 crore accident insurance policies in a single day. Never before in economic history would 1.5 crore bank accounts have been opened in a single day. Never before has the Government of India organized a programme of such scale – over 77,000 locations – with the participation of so many Chief Ministers, Union Ministers, Government and bank officials." He said the success is an inspiration for achieving new heights. 
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The Prime Minister said that though the initial target of PMJDY was to open bank accounts for 7.5 crore families in one year, he had exhorted the concerned officials to complete the task before the next Republic Day. 

Elaborating the benefits under PMJDY, the Prime Minister said this was not a mere bank account, but had other benefits including an RuPay debit card, Rs 1 lakh accident insurance cover, and an additional Rs. 30,000/- life insurance cover for those opening bank accounts before January 26th, 2015. He said the account performance would be monitored and overdraft facility would be given. The Prime Minister said he had sent 7.25 lakh bank employees, exhorting them to help reach the target of 7.5 crore bank accounts, and bring freedom from financial untouchability.

The Prime Minister referred to the five beneficiary couples who had received account opening kits in today's event at Vigyan Bhawan, and said the ladies appeared to have dressed for a festival. He said they knew that there could be no bigger festival than the opening of a bank account for empowering women. 
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The Prime Minister said when banks were nationalized in 1969, it was done with the objective of bringing people into the economic mainstream. But that objective had not been achieved till date. After 68 years of independence, not even 68% of India's population had access to banking, he added. He said it is easy for the rich to get a loan at low interest rates. But the poor are forced to seek loans from money-lenders at five times the rate charged to the rich. Is it not the responsibility of the banking industry to provide banking access to the poor, the Prime Minister asked. 

The Prime Minister illustrated his point through the example of a mother saving money and being forced to hide it somewhere within the house. He said the bank officials who had opened an account for such a mother, had been blessed today.

He said a breakthrough was required to overcome the vicious cycle of poverty and debt, and that breakthrough had been achieved today. He said there were similarities between the poor getting access to mobile telephones, and getting access to debit cards. They both had the effect of instilling confidence and pride among the poor, he added. 

The Prime Minister referred to the ancient Sanskrit verse: Sukhasya Moolam Dharma, Dharmasya Moolam Artha, Arthasya Moolam Rajyam – which puts the onus on the state to involve people in economic activity. "This Government has accepted this responsibility," the Prime Minister said.

The Prime Minister said Indians had a habit of saving, and thinking about the future of their children. 

The Prime Minister also distributed awards to winners of the Name and Logo contest for this scheme. He observed that those who won prizes were predominantly from non-Hindi speaking states, but had won prizes for coining a name and slogan in Hindi. This is an example of national integration, he said. 
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Speaking on the occasion, the Finance Minister said PMJDY would be taken forward in Mission Mode, and the first target of reaching 7.5 crore unbanked families would be achieved by January 26th, 2015.

The Minister of State for Finance, Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, said the lady of the house had been given priority in the PMJDY. She said this scheme would touch the lives of everyone in a positive and constructive way.

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Package for Promotion of Digital and Cashless Economy
December 08, 2016
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Govt introduces a package of incentives for promotion of digital and cashless economy
0.75% discount on purchase of petrol/diesel through digital means
Deployment of 2 POS devices each in 1 Lakh villages with population of less than 10,000
Discount upto 0.5% for monthly or seasonal tickets from January 1, 2017, if payment is made digitally
All railway passengers buying online ticket shall be given free accidental insurance cover of upto Rs. 10 lakh

In the aftermath of the cancellation of the legal tender character of old Rs.500 and Rs.1,000 notes, there has been a surge in the digital transactions through use of credit/debit cards and mobile phone applications/e-wallets etc. To further accelerate this process, the Central Government has decided on a package of incentives and measures for promotion of digital and cashless economy in the country. 

These incentives/measures are following: 

  1. The Central Government Petroleum PSUs shall give incentive by offering a discount at the rate of 0.75% of the sale price to consumers on purchase of petrol/diesel if payment is made through digital means.

Nearly 4.5 crore customers buy petrol or diesel at such petrol pumps per day who can take benefit of this incentive scheme.  It is estimated that petrol/diesel worth Rs.1800 crore is sold per day to the customers out of which nearly 20% was being paid through digital means.  In the month of November 2016 it has increased to 40% and the cash transaction of Rs.360 crore per day have got shifted to cashless transaction methods.  The incentive scheme has the potential of shifting at least 30% more customer to digital means which will further reduce the cash requirement of nearly Rs. 2 lakh crore per year at the petrol pumps.

  1. To expand digital payment infrastructure in rural areas, the Central Government through NABARD will extend financial support to eligible banks for deployment of 2 POS devices each in 1 Lakh villages with population of less than 10,000.  These POS machines are intended to be deployed at primary cooperative societies/milk societies/agricultural input dealers to facilitate agri-related transactions through digital means.

This will benefit farmers of one lakh village covering a total population of nearly 75 crore who will have facility to transact cashlessly in their villages for their agri needs. 

  1. The Central Government through NABARD will also support Rural Regional Banks and Cooperative Banks to issue “Rupay Kisan Cards” to 4.32 crore Kisan Credit Card holders to enable them to make digital transactions at POS machines/Micro ATMs/ATMs.
  1. Railway through its sub urban railway network shall provide incentive by way of discount upto 0.5% to customers for monthly or seasonal tickets from January 1, 2017, if payment is made through digital means.

Nearly 80 lakh passengers use seasonal or monthly ticket on suburban railways, largely in cash, spending worth nearly Rs.2,000 crore per year.  As more and more passengers will shift to digital means the cash requirement may get reduced by Rs.1,000 crore per year in near future.

  1. All railway passengers buying online ticket shall be given free accidental insurance cover of upto Rs. 10 lakh.

Nearly 14 lakh railway passengers are buying tickets everyday out of which 58% tickets are bought online through digital means.  It is expected that another 20% passengers may shift to digital payment methods of buying railway tickets.  Hence nearly 11 lakh passengers per day will be covered under the accidental insurance scheme.

  1. For paid services e.g. catering, accommodation, retiring rooms etc. being offered by railways through its affiliated entities/corporations to the passengers, it will provide a discount of 5% for payment of these services through digital means.

All the passengers travelling on railways availing these services may avail the benefit.

  1. Public sector insurance companies will provide incentive, by way of discount or credit, upto 10% of the premium in general insurance policies and 8% in new life policies of Life Insurance Corporation sold through the customer portals, in case payment is made through digital means.
  1. The Central Government Departments and Central Public Sector Undertakings will ensure that transactions fee/MDR charges associated with payment through digital means shall not be passed on to the consumers and all such expenses shall be borne by them.  State Governments are being advised that the State Governments and its organizations should also consider to absorb the transaction fee/MDR charges related to digital payment to them and consumer should not be asked to bear it.
  1. Public sector banks are advised that merchant should not be required to pay more than Rs. 100 per month as monthly rental for PoS terminals/Micro ATMs/mobile POS from the merchants to bring small merchant on board the digital payment eco system.

Nearly 6.5 lakh machines by Public Sector Banks have been issued to merchants who will be benefitted by the lower rentals and promote digital transactions.  With lower rentals, more merchants will install such machines and promote digital transactions. 

  1. No service tax will be charged on digital transaction charges/MDR for transactions upto Rs.2000 per transaction.
  1. For the payment of toll at Toll Plazas on National Highways using RFID card/Fast Tags, a discount of 10% will be available to users in the year 2016-17.