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""An occasion to build national character""

Series of initiatives announced

  1. Pradhanmantri Jan-Dhan Yojana to provide for a bank account, a debit card and an insurance amount of Rs. one lakh, for the poor
  2. Digital Infrastructure a priority to empower Indians
  3. Swachh Bharat initiative to be launched on October 2nd
  4. Toilets in all schools within a year
  5. Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana to be launched
  6. New institution to replace Planning Commission
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Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today called upon all citizens to contribute to the cause of building national character. Addressing the nation for the first time from the ramparts of the Red Fort on the 68th Independence Day, he said, it is an occasion for introspection for all, as to how his or her acts would weigh on the scale of National Interest. Let all actions be in the National Interest, and be seen as a contribution towards nation building, the Prime Minister said.

 Greeting the people of India on Independence Day, Shri Narendra Modi stated that he was addressing them not as "Pradhan Mantri" but as "Pradhan Sewak" – the first servant.

 Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a series of initiatives aimed at empowering the common man, and unleashing the potential of India's youth.

In a major new scheme to universalize banking access and financial inclusion, the Prime Minister announced the Pradhanmantri Jan-Dhan Yojana which will provide for a bank account, a debit card and an insurance amount of Rs. one lakh, to poor families.

 A nationwide "Skill India" movement will be initiated to provide skills which ensure employability.

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 The Prime Minister also announced a vision of "Come and Make in India" inviting manufacturers from across the world to invest in India, and help boost India's industrial growth. He called upon the youth of India to unleash their entrepreneurial spirit and work towards manufacturing in India, the various items that add to our import bill. Let "Made in India" become a synonym of excellence, he added.

 Emphasizing that digital infrastructure is a priority to empower the citizens, Shri Narendra Modi announced his Government's resolve to work towards Digital India, which would provide information and services to the people in a timely and effective manner.

 Stressing on the need for cleanliness, the Prime Minister announced his Government's resolve for "Swachh Bharat" – a vision which will be launched on October 2nd this year, to be accomplished by 2019, on the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. In a related initiative, the Prime Minister said the first step towards "Swachh Bharat" begins with immediate effect, through a commitment to build toilets in all schools, including separate toilets for girls, within one year.

 The Prime Minister announced the launch of the Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana, under which each Member of Parliament would be invited to make one model village in his constituency, by 2016. He said a complete blueprint for this scheme would be announced on October 11th, the birth anniversary of Shri Jayaprakash Narayan.

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 Shri Narendra Modi announced that a new institution would be created to replace the Planning Commission. This new institution would respect the federal structure of the country, he asserted.

 Thanking all Members of Parliament, including the Opposition Parties for a productive session of Parliament, the Prime Minister said his Government wished to move forward by consensus.

 Referring to reports of the positive change in work culture of the Union Government since he took over as Prime Minister, the Prime Minister said he was taken aback by such news reports – since it should be the norm for Government Servants to work with due diligence. The Prime Minister said the fact that this should make news, shows how low our collective standards of duty and responsibility have fallen. The Prime Minister called upon society to give up the selfish attitude of 
"Mera Kya, Mujhe Kya."

 The Prime Minister also said he was appalled by the discord and disunity among various Government departments that he saw after assuming office. He assured the people that he would resolve this issue, so that the Government of India worked not as an assembled entity, but as an organic entity. The Prime Minister said development and good governance were the only two tracks which could take the nation forward.

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 The Prime Minister expressed dismay at the rising number of rape incidents in the country. Pointing out that daughters are asked a lot of questions in a family, he called upon parents to question their sons also, and keep a tab on their activities. Every rapist is someone's son, the Prime Minister said. In a similar vein, he called upon misguided youth who had taken to terrorism or Maoism, to give up violence and return to the national mainstream.

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 The Prime Minister quoted Shri Aurobindo and Swami Vivekananda, reflecting on their vision to see India as a 
"Jagatguru" once again, and called upon all Indians to help convert this vision into reality.

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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.