The government on Wednesday said the Common Service Centres (CSCs) have got an approval from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to act as a bill payment operating unit for accepting payments for utility bills, including electricity, water, and for pre-paid top-ups for mobile phones.
CSC e-Governance Services India got an in-principle approval from the RBI on June 6, for functioning as Bharat bill payment operating unit, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Union minister for communications and information technology, told reporters.
Consumers willing to pay their bills can use their debit or credit cards to pay bills. “CSCs will be those entities which will give digital services in rural hinterland,” Prasad added.
After the RBI licence is made operational, which may take about three months, the bill payment operating unit will be integrated with the National Payment Corporation of India, to enable the CSCs to collect various bills near the residence of the customer.
Currently, there are about 1.99 lakh CSCs across the country and the figure is likely to rise to more than 2.6 lakh by December 2016, Prasad said.
With the rolling out of the new bill payment service, the CSC network will create an employment of around 2 lakh jobs, even if one person is employed to collect bills in each of the centre, he added.
“This would help in strengthening the government objective of rural employment through ICT under the ‘Digital India’ initiative,” the minister said.