Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Sunday said that Modi government’s bid to go cashless means less cash not no cash. Speaking at the Digi Dhan Mela in New Delhi, Jaitley said, “Aadhar based payment is for people who don’t have cards or mobile phones, they only need thumb print for transactions.” He said the government communicated with many nations regarding information about Indians who have black money stashed overseas. FM Jaitley said that there was a time when 1% population had mobile phones, in 20 years that has come to more than 90%.
Reacting to PM’s speech yesterday with regard to all sections including market players contributing to the national exchequer, FM said that he has been misinterpreted in some parts of media. “We have started speculating that this is indirect reference to the fact that there could be long term capital gain tax on security transactions. There is no opportunity for anybody to reach such a conclusion because this is not what the PM said nor is it intention of government as reported. This interpretation is absolutely erroneous, PM had made no such statement directly or indirectly,” he added.
Jaitley said, “If people had to buy property it was asked that how much will be paid in cash and how much by cheque. Such immoral practices prevailed, but our political counterparts are slow in understanding this and so is some of the media. As PM Modi said there will be some problems in the start but when money comes into banking system the economy will strengthen, I can assure with such initiatives we will have a better nation, a better and cleaner economy in future. Bill Gates told me that here more than 100 crore have mobile phones, 109 crore have Aadhar cards, digital economy will boom in India. From counterfeit currency to terrorism everything is a result of heavy dependence on cash economy.”
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The first draw of the Lucky Grahak Yojana to provide a cashback of Rs 1,000 to 15,000 consumers every day for the next 100 days was launched today by Arun Jaitley and Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad. “To create awareness in different parts of the country, the event would be followed in 100 different cities across India over the next 100 days until March,” Niti Aayog said in a statement.
Winners will be selected on a daily and weekly basis under the Lucky Grahak Yojana and weekly basis under the Digi-Dhan Vyapar Yojana respectively, leading up to a mega draw on April 14, 2017, where after the scheme shall be reviewed for further implementation, it said.
The twin schemes aimed at giving a fillip to digital payment, were launched by the NITI Aayog that has been tasked to undertake a comprehensive campaign on advocacy, awareness and co-ordinate handholding efforts among general public, micro enterprises and other stakeholders for digital payments.
Discounts will now be given for payments made on a digital platform at petrol stations, for insurance premium, tolls at national highways and for railway tickets. To reduce transaction costs of digital payments, several fees and charges being levied so far by banks and on various government portals have either been reduced or done away with, it said.
A Scheme has also been launched to improve supply of cards and POS machines in rural areas.
Digidhan Melas, where all stakeholders of digital payment ecosystem exhibit and provide actual hand holding to general public in adopting digital payments have also been held to popularise the digital payments amongst the general public, added the Aayog. This will be a unique fair where all transactions will be cashless and people will be educated how to use plastic money, instead of using hard cash. These fairs are being organised to change the mindset of the general masses.
A Digi Dhan’ mela will also be organised in Gurugram on December 26 where customers will be able to purchase items only by making digital payment. masses on how to use mobile phones for making purchases, the release said. All daily use items ranging from vegetables to general store, handicraft products, horticulture products will be available in this fair and the customers will have to make payment through digital mode.
(With inputs from Agencies)