Among the many initiatives planned by the Modi Government on the occasion of Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary celebrated this year, mass digitisation program is one. The Government has planned to lead the stepping stone of its dream digital cashless India on Gandhi Jayanti. The promotion is likely to continue till 26th January. The Centre is working on making plans as to how various state governments and government agencies could be convinced to adopt digital mode of financial transaction. For example the road transportation corporation and the railways could be made mandatory to accept only digital mode of payments. Further, proposals of greater amalgamation of online payment portals of the state agencies and formal payment techniques like BHARAT QR code and BHIM are on board. Customers paying digitally are likely to get lucrative benefits and incentives.
It is interesting to note that Government payments account for a huge share of the overall financial transaction in the economy. The Government itself choosing to adopt digital mode of payment can highly boost up the rest of the citizens to adopt the methodology and hence overall digital transactions would surely elevate in the country.
At the very elementary level the Government of India has outlined QR (quick response) code integrated payment options utilising UPI (unified payments interface) for various outlets above a specified floor. The main aim of the Government in doing so is firstly to infuse the digitisation in business to consumer (B2C) deals and secondly to stop the illegitimate activity of restrain from tax payment. The after effect of the curriculum would be to facilitate customers to carry out non irritable transactions and allow shopkeepers to avail benefits of the Goods and Service Tax (GST) regime.
The Government had already instructed banks in the previous financial year to install over 20 lakh stagnant and mobile POS (point of sale). But unfortunately only 44% of the target is recorded to have been successfully achieved. In the new financial year the Government has set an enormous target of procuring over 4000 crore digital transactions by the next financial year. The main motive of setting such a high target is to bring about a smooth and convenient approach amongst the citizens when it comes to carrying out cashless transactions and eradicate the fear of the new mode of payment. Over 3000 crore of the targets are handed out to the banks and the banks have been further ordered to install 8.5 million POS across the country especially focussing on the North Eastern part of India and the rural areas. The Railways are also not lagging behind. Every ticket counter is being upgraded to accept digital payments. A report says that approximately 14 lakh ticket reservation stalls are to employ Bharat QR code on all parts of the country. The aim is to make the Bharat code an internationally used payment base. The various public transportation authorities are also giving a thought of accepting the new payment mode; bus & metro tickets, electricity & water bill, counters in passport offices are among them.