Slamming the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog’s decision to reward Rs.1 crore for promoting e-payment, Congress leader Sandeep Dikshit on Sunday questioned the government whether cashless exchange was more important to it than poverty eradication, employment generation and providing better life to the people.
“What NITI Aayog has done to promote the government’s policy is fair enough. You can give a prize of (Rs) one crore, two crores or whatever you want, but the interesting and amusing part is that the real challenge of the government, which is reducing poverty, bringing fall in infant mortality rate, getting the sex ratio up, reducing malnourishment, out of these, the NITI Aayog has not even given a one-rupia prize to anybody.”
“The problem with NITI Aayog is that in terms of employment, it cannot give prize to anybody, because unemployment is increasing and growth has stagnated, so you cannot reward anybody. Poverty is not reducing, thus, it cannot reward anyone for it; infant mortality rate and health is stagnating, so you can’t reward anybody; there is no initiative in education, so you cannot give prize to anyone,” he said, adding the government is a “complete failure so it is subverting every attention to cashless (exchange)”.
“You are rewarding somebody — to say that rather than keeping my own money, I will give money to Chinese company like Paytm that charges 2.5 percent on every transaction — so, to make them rich, the government is ultimately rewarding you,” said the Congress leader.
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Taking a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Dikshit added, “If my money is deposited in banks like ICICI, HDFC, IDBI, then its CEOs will earn profit by investing my money into short-term deposits and get astronomical salary. If these people living on my money and earning crores per month, then ‘it is advisable for the Prime Minister’, but if I will keep my money in cash under my own security, then it would be wrong for the nation.
“The government and NITI Aayog are going to completely sale off all every little assets that I have to the service of the rich, who own and runs the banks, who take service from the banks, who take credits from the banks and for whom Indian banking system works.” he said. The NITI Aayog has planned an incentive scheme, including Rs one crore prize, for those who use digital payment systems the most, as the government steps up measures to push electronic transactions.
Guiding India towards being a cashless society, the National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI) has proposed that all consumers and merchants using digital payments will be eligible for two levels of incentive amounts available under the scheme: weekly lucky draw of the transaction IDs generated in that week, the contours of which are being finalised, and quarterly draw for grand prizes.
The detail guideline of the scheme will be unveiled soon, however, it would be ensured that all those who have used digital payment systems after November 8 will be eligible to participate in the scheme, the NITI Aayog stated.