The Andhra Pradesh government will soon be amending the Shops and Establishment Act to facilitate digital payments. The amendment will help enable digital payments for government and business segments using the latest technologies in Quick Response (QR) code and Near-Field Communication (NFC) and make payments more efficient for businesses.
As a pilot, the AP government has signed an MoU with Visa for using Bharat QR in AP State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) where in contact-less cards are being used in 18 buses being provided by a host of banks. On the same lines, the pilot is extended to payment of electricity bills and booking of LPG cylinders as well.
Stating that the change will help small and medium enterprises, Nara Lokesh, minister of IT and Panchayat Raj, said: “We want to make Vizag the first city to use less cash transactions.”
Inaugurating the two-day blockchain technology, chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Monday said: “Our vision is to create five lakh jobs in Andhra Pradesh by 2020 through technology-enabled services. Fintech Valley is a playground for start-ups and innovators. Our aim is to turn Fintech Valley into a global hub.”
As per the MoU between Visa and the government, the parties will collaborate to develop a robust digital payment ecosystem in Vizag through a multi-level approach that targets several stakeholders. Through the promotion of awareness campaigns and educational programmes, the MoU sets out to encourage both merchants and consumers to accept and adopt digital payments. Visa will also develop a curriculum for government and consumers.
“With the launch of BharatQR, a global first of its kind low-cost payment solution, we hope to rapidly scale up the number of small merchants accepting digital payments,” TR Ramachandran, group country manager, Visa India & South Asia, said.
The state government has also signed MoUs with Thomson Reuters and MasterCard and is in talks with a host of mobile wallet companies to build a fintech ecosystem in the state, JA Chowdary, special chief secretary & IT adviser to the chief minister, said: “The state government is in the process of signing MoUs with 20 companies including ICICI, Mahindra Finance, Tata Capital, Bajaj Capital among others for setting fintech accelerators. The key focus would be IoT, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence and blockchain technologies.”
AP to pilot unique identification number for land registry Land parcels in Andhra Pradesh will soon get a unique identification number called Bhudhar, like Aadhaar for individuals. The Andhra Pradesh government has started a pilot project using blockchain technology for identification of land.
Bhudhar will be an 11-digit unique number that will be issued to every plot and agricultural land. The project is being given to Chromaway, a Swedish company. In addition, two US-based companies along with Dubai-based blockchain companies are working on the pilot project.