A panel looking into the issue of a shift to a less-cash economy following demonetisation is pitching for the continuance of service tax exemptions on digital payments even beyond December 31. “If digital currency will be costlier than physical currency, people will go to physical currency,” Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu, who heads the 13-member panel, said after a meeting at NITI Aayog on Wednesday.
The panel, which has six chief ministers, will submit an interim report on digital payments to Prime Minister Narendra Modi within a week, Naidu said.
Naidu also said one million PoS machines could be imported to enable cashless payments across the country.
He added that two important measures using existing infrastructure — Aadhaar Pay and modified versions of Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD), and Unified Payment Interface (UPI) — would be introduced soon.
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The UPI app and the interoperability of the USSD and the UPI will be a crucial driver of the government efforts to make 60 crore Indians use digital payments. Separately, Nasscom, telecom operators, and NITI Aayog have joined hands to create a dedicated helpline — 14444 — to address queries on digital payments.