Package for Promotion of Digital and Cashless Economy

Published By : Admin | December 8, 2016 | 20:57 IST
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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Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed a dynamic public meeting in Jamshedpur, Jharkhand, highlighting the significance of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections and the crucial issues at stake. Addressing an enthusiastic crowd, PM Modi underscored his commitment to the holistic development of Jharkhand and the nation.

PM Modi articulated the fundamental issues that should shape the electoral discourse. "The Lok Sabha elections are about shaping the future of the country. How will the future of the country be determined? I ask you, should there be a discussion about the economy in the elections or not? Should there be a discussion about industries and small industries in the elections or not? Should there be a discussion about national security in the elections or not? Should there be a discussion about agriculture and forest produce in the elections or not? Should there be a discussion about new opportunities for the youth in the elections or not? Should there be a discussion about highways, expressways, and infrastructure in the elections or not?"

Highlighting the disconnect between opposition parties and these vital issues, PM Modi criticized Congress and JMM. "But Congress and JMM have no interest in any of these issues. They don't understand even the basics of development. What is their method? Tell lies. What are their issues? They will examine the property of the poor, and seize it. They will take away SC-ST-OBC reservations. They will give Modi new abuses every day. They cannot think beyond this. That is why the INDI Alliance lies to you. The whole country knows their truth. That is why the country is saying, ‘Phir Ek Baar, Modi Sarkar."

PM Modi lamented the paradox of Jharkhand's wealth and poverty. "A state like Jharkhand is so rich in mineral wealth. Yet, there is so much poverty here. It is unfortunate. The common man remains poor while Congress and JMM have amassed black money in their homes."

He denounced the rampant corruption by Congress, JMM, and RJD, which has plagued Jharkhand. "Parties like Congress, JMM, and RJD have looted our Jharkhand at every opportunity. Congress has been the mother of corruption. Congress has set records of loot in scams like 2G and coal. Look at RJD. They invented scams like land for jobs. JMM has learned these traits from Congress and RJD. JMM has done land scams in Jharkhand. And whose lands did they grab? They grabbed the lands of our poor tribals! They even tried to grab army land. The mountains of cash are being recovered from their homes. Whose money is that? It is your money. It is the money of innocent tribals, which these people have looted."

In an emotional call to action, PM Modi urged the people to reject corrupt parties and support BJP's vision. "The whole world knows that industries are necessary for the progress of the country. The name of Jamshedpur itself is after Jamsetji Tata. However, the Congress party considers entrepreneurs as enemies of the country. Their leaders say we attack businessmen who do not give us money. This means parties like Congress and JMM have no interest in the country's industries. They are only interested in their corruption and extortion."

He drew a stark comparison to Naxalism, criticizing the extortion tactics of opposition parties. "Isn’t this the exact Naxalite method of Congress? Naxalites also did not let any businessman work without extortion. Today Modi has broken the back of Naxalites. So now Congress and JMM have taken over the responsibility of extortion. Will you give even a single vote to such Congress-JMM?"

PM Modi also emphasized the transformative impact of BJP's governance. "Parties like Congress never cared about you. They gave the false slogan of 'Garibi Hatao' for 60 years. It is Modi who has lifted 250 lakhs of poor out of poverty. Congress did not let the poor enter banks. Modi got Jan Dhan accounts opened for 520 lakh people. Lakhs of poor in our country did not even have a roof over their heads. Modi gave 4 lakh poor people a permanent house.”

“In the Congress government, 18,000 villages in the country were living in darkness. Modi has worked to bring electricity to every village in the country. Congress deprived millions of homes in the country of clean water. It is Modi who is working to provide tap water to every household," he added.

Urging the people to safeguard democracy and reject dynastic politics, PM Modi said, "Dynastic parties consider the country their property. The Shehzada of Congress fled from Wayanad to contest elections in Raebareli. He was telling everyone that this was my mother's seat, his mother also went to Raebareli to campaign for him. There she said, I am giving you my son. They couldn’t find a worker to hand over, only a son."

In his closing remarks, PM Modi reiterated the significance of the upcoming vote. "Your one vote on May 25th will decide the fate of Jharkhand and the country. If you press the lotus button, Modi will be strengthened in Delhi.”