FM announces measures to promote digital transactions
The Dollar Business Bureau
In order to encourage people to move to a cashless economy, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has announced a range of measures and sops to make way for e-payments in the country.
Now, people will be able to enjoy a discount of 0.75 per cent when buying petrol and diesel through their credit/debit cards, e-wallets and mobile wallets. The general and life insurance will also become cheaper with a 10 per cent and 8 per cent discount when buying new policy or paying premium online via PSUs websites.
The rural part of the country has also been included in the plan with NABARD extending financial support to eligible banks for deployment of 2 POS devices each in 1 lakh villages with a 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," said Jaitley.
The move will benefit around 75 crore people in rural areas who will be able to transact cashless in their villages for their agri needs. As many as 4.32 crore Kisan credit card holders will also be issued “Rupay Kisan Cards” by rural regional banks and cooperative banks.
The minister said that the monthly and seasonal suburban railway tickets will make for a cheap buy with the government offering a 0.5 per cent discount on it from January 1, if purchased digitally. People will also be able to avail an accident insurance cover of Rs 10 lakh if they make online booking of railway tickets. Those using digital mode to pay for railway catering, accommodation, retiring room will be given a discount of 5 per cent.
The Union government has announced a total of 11 decisions in a bid to target at least 70% of the daily sales to be done through cards or e-wallets/mobile wallets. This is expected to decrease cash exchange at petrol pumps by nearly Rs.2 lakh crore annually.