Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared the launch of a biometric payment system using the Aadhaar platform within the next two weeks and called upon citizens to adopt digital currency.
On the last day of the deadline to deposit demonetised notes, Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared the launch of a biometric payment system using the Aadhaar platform within the next two weeks and called upon citizens to adopt digital currency in a big way from the New Year, reports fe Bureau in New Delhi. With the call that “Your thumb is your bank now”, the PM said payments through the mobile app called BHIM (Bharat Interface for Money) can be effected after the bank account is linked with the Aadhaar gateway. He was speaking at a DigiDhan Mela, organised to celebrate the success of the country’s push for digital currency.
India’s cash-to-GDP ratio is as high as 12%, roughly three times of even developing countries like Brazil and South Africa, as most transactions in the informal sector of the economy are settled in cash. According to a study commissioned by MasterCard, which was released early last year, the share of the electronic mode of transactions in the overall payment system have risen to 6.8% from 2.6% in 2007, but still remained far below potential.
Already, a high-level panel headed by Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu has favoured the continuance of service tax exemptions on digital payments even beyond December 31 to expedite the shift to digital transactions. “If digital currency will be costlier than physical currency, then people will go to physical currency,” Naidu said after a meeting at Niti Aayog on Wednesday.
On Friday, seemingly taking a dig at the Opposition for the latter’s criticism of demonetisation, the Prime Minister also said the move was intended to catch the “mouse” that eats away the nation’s wealth. He added a new indigenously developed payment app ‘BHIM’ has been named keeping in mind the architect of our constitution, Bhim Rao Ambedkar.