Modi government is planning to bring a ‘sarkari’ e-wallet on the lines of Paytm and provide subsidised smartphones to people in villages to fast-forward India on the path of becoming a cashless economy, according to a report. Hindi daily Dainik Bhaskar today reported that the government may make some announcements in this regard in the upcoming General Budget. The government e-wallet could be different from the current Unified Payment Interface (UPI) or its updated version. Moreover, users will not be charged anything for transactions via the ‘sarkari’ e-wallet.
According to the exclusive report, the Union finance, telecom and information & technology ministries are jointly preparing the plan to introduce the ‘sarkari’ e-wallet. The NITI Aayog will handle the responsibility of monitoring the project.
Even as the Modi government is facing scathing attacks from the Opposition following the demonetisation of old Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes, the proposed moves have the potential to leapfrog India to digital, cashless economy soon. On Thursday, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had instructed CEO’s of all public and private sector banks to work on making India a ‘digital economy’ on a mission mode.
The report quoted officials as saying that subsidy amount for smartphones would be directly transferred to aadhar-linked accounts of beneficiaries. The smartphones will come with pre-installed e-wallet.
The government will also take measures to make it viable for people to make payments via e-wallets at petrol pumps, educational institutions, ration stores, milk parlours, railway stations, bus stops etc.
On November 8, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the decision to demonetise old Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes. The surprise decision has affected crores of citizens in the country. The government has assured that cash availability in banks and ATMs would become normal soon.