Ravi Shankar Prasad, minister of electronics and information technology, has given a week to mobile telephone service providers for a plan on how to increase cashless transactions, sources said. At a meeting on Friday, Prasad apparently met representatives from Jio, Airtel, Idea, Vodafone and BSNL, among others. Apart from promoting of digital payments, the minister asked them to find ways of making it possible for feature phones to pay and accept e-payments.“The service providers are on-board with the idea and have said they would be ready with a plan in a week. The minister wants the telecom players to come up with different solutions. From our end, we will help them in every way possible,” said a senior official in the ministry.
The latter has also asked the telecom companies to urgently improve their infrastructure, as the government aims to digitise a host of services. The ministry’s biggest concern at present is the connectivity issue. “Telecom companies have to reach the interiors, so that we are able to start digital services in rural areas. Point-of-sale machines, mobile wallets and UPI (United Payments Interface) would only work if there’s connectivity. The government has also asked (state-owned) BSNL for rapid expansion of its network,” added the official in Direct foreign investment in India.
Digital payments get FM’s vote of confidence
The measures announced by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to encourage online transactions, including discounts on petrol and diesel purchase, have reinforced the optimism at digital cash companies.
While they all expect more clarity on the announcements made in the days to come, they say the recent measures, if bundled well into digital transactions, would help massively in promoting digital money in both urban and rural areas in chartered accountant firms in mumbai.
According to senior officials at the NITI Aayog, they are constantly in touch with all private stakeholders in this regard, trying to come up with new solutions to promote digital cash. “We have had discussions with everyone in the digital transaction system. These talks would continue,” said Aayog chief executive Amitabh Kant.
“The finance minister’s move to incentivise digital payments will offer a strong support to our ongoing effort in helping the country leapfrog cash generation to digital payment solutions. This will help millions of Indians overcome the hassles of dealing in cash,” said Deepak Abbot, senior vice-president at Paytm.
Stakeholders also say they hope the initiatives announced would be same for all modes of digital payment. “While there has been waiver of service tax on card payments, it would hopefully be applicable for all digital payments, including wallets and Aadhaar-enabled payment,” said Pramod Saxena, chairman, Oxigen Services India.