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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.
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Earlier, the scope and budget of cheap ration schemes kept on increasing but starvation and malnutrition did not decrease in that proportion: PM
Beneficiaries are getting almost double the earlier amount of ration after Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana started: PM
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Let's take holy pledge to awaken new inspiration for nation building on Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav: PM

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi interacted with beneficiaries of Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana in Gujarat today via video conferencing. A public participation programme was launched in the state to create further awareness about the scheme.

Addressing the event, the Prime Minister said that lakhs of families in Gujarat are getting free ration under PM Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana. This free rations reduces distress for the poor and gives them confidence. He said that the poor should feel that whatever might be the calamity, the country is with him.

The Prime Minister pointed out that after independence, almost every government talked about providing cheap food to the poor. The scope and budget of cheap ration schemes increased year after year, but the effect it should have had remained limited. The country's food stocks kept increasing, but starvation and malnutrition did not decrease in that proportion. One major reason for this was the lack of an effective delivery system. To change this situation work was started afresh after 2014. He said, using new technology, crores of fake beneficiaries were weeded out of the system and ration cards were linked to Aadhar cards. This helped in ensuring that no citizen went hungry despite the biggest calamity of the century when livelihood were threatened and business suffered due to lockdown. The world has acknowledged the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana. Free ration has been made available to more than 80 crore people during the pandemic with an expenditure of more than 2 lakh crore rupees, said the Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister said today, in addition to the quota of wheat at Rs 2/kg, rice at Rs 3/kg, 5 kg of wheat and rice is being given free to every beneficiary. That is, almost double the amount of ration is being provided to the ration card holders than before this scheme started. This scheme is going to continue till Diwali. No poor will sleep hungry, said the Prime Minister. He praised the Gujarat government for taking care of the migrant labourers, fulfilling the purpose of One Nation One Ration Card Initiative.

The Prime Minister said today the country is spending lakhs of crores on infrastructure, but at the same time, to improve the quality of life of common human beings, it is also setting new benchmarks for Ease of Living. Empowerment of the poor is being given top priority today. They are being empowered as more than 2 crore poor families got houses, 10 crore families got toilets. Similarly, they get empowered when they get included in the banking system via Jan-Dhan account, said the Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister said empowerment needs consistent hard work for ensuring health, education, facilities and dignity. Schemes like Ayushman Yojana, Reservations for Economically Weaker sections, roads, free gas and electricity connection, Mudra Yojna, Svanidhi Yojna are giving direction to dignified life for the poor and becoming a medium of empowerment.

The Prime Minister said there are many such works in the entire country including Gujarat, due to which the confidence of every countryman and every region is increasing today. And it is this self-confidence which is the formula to overcome every challenge, to achieve every dream.

Referring to India's Olympic contingent, the Prime Minister said despite the once-in-a-century calamity, the highest number of players qualified for Olympics. They just didn’t qualify but are giving tough fights to better ranked players.

The Prime Minister said the zeal, passion and spirit of Indian players is at the highest level today. He said this confidence comes when the right talent is identified and encouraged. This confidence comes when the systems change, become transparent. This new confidence is becoming the hallmark of New India.

The Prime Minister urged the people to continue this confidence in the fight against Corona and also in our vaccination campaign. He stressed on the need to maintain our vigilance continuously, in this environment of global pandemic.

He said that as the country is moving rapidly towards the vaccination milestone of 50 crore, Gujarat is also approaching the milestone of 3.5 crore vaccine doses. He stressed the need to vaccinate, wearing masks and avoid being a part of the crowd as much as possible.

The Prime Minister said gave a resolution to the countrymen to awaken new inspiration for nation building. He urged to take this holy vow during the 75 years of independence. In these resolutions, he said poor, rich, men and women, downtrodden, everyone has an equal share, he concluded.

It may be noted that nearly 948 Lakh Metric Tonnes of foodgrains was allocated last year which is 50% more than a normal year to ensure food security during COVID. About Rs. 2.84 Lakh crore food subsidy incurred during 2020-21.

More than 3.3 crore eligible beneficiaries in Gujarat got 25.5 Lakh Metric tonnes of foodgrain, incurring a subsidy amount of more than 5 thousand crore.

To further strengthen food security for migrant beneficiaries, One Nation One Ration Card implemented so far in 33 States/UTs.