Govt. to hold lucky draws to boost digital transactions

Updated - December 11, 2016 02:09 am IST

Published - December 10, 2016 06:55 pm IST

Karnataka : Bengaluru : 18/11/2016 : Demonetisation. Petrol bunks will be taking debit and credit cards to issue new 2000 rupee notes  on November 18, 2016.    
Photo: V Sreenivasa Murthy

Karnataka : Bengaluru : 18/11/2016 : Demonetisation. Petrol bunks will be taking debit and credit cards to issue new 2000 rupee notes on November 18, 2016. Photo: V Sreenivasa Murthy

In a bid to promote cashless economy, the NITI Aayog on Saturday proposed organising weekly lucky draws for all consumers and merchants using digital modes of payments with a focus on “poor, lower middle class and small businesses”.

The government has entrusted the National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI) to formulate the modalities of the new scheme, which follows the various discounts on digital transactions announced by the Finance Ministry on Thursday.

“Weekly lucky draw of the transaction IDs generated in that week, the contours of which are being finalised. The Aayog has also proposed quarterly draw for grand prizes,” the NITI Aayog said. The budget for this scheme, according to official sources, is likely to be about Rs. 125 crore.

The NITI Aayog assured that all those who have used digital payment systems after November 8 will be eligible to participate in the scheme.

“All modes of digital payments — Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD), Aadhaar Enabled Payment System (AEPS), Unified Payments Interface (UPI) and RuPay Cards — will be eligible,” it said.

For merchants, transactions made on the PoS or swipe machines installed at their locations would be considered. “The scheme would also provide for recognition of State governments, their undertakings, districts and urban and rural local bodies who innovate for promoting electronic payment in their jurisdictions,” it said.

Terming the Centre’s move to demonetise the Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 notes an “important milestone” to combat corruption and black money because “these large denomination currencies have resulted in a number of ill-effects upon the economy,” the NITI Aayog stressed the importance of long-term schemes to encourage digital payments that could minimise tax evasion. “It is possible to leverage technology to carry out business transactions digitally through online payments, mobile banking, e-wallets and debit cards. There are a large number of instruments to move from digital to digi-dhan ,” the NITI Aayog said.

User-friendly USSD

The Chief Ministers’ panel on digital payments has asked the Central government to roll out a more user-friendly version of the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) or *99# service, which is used on feature mobile phones for making cashless payments.

“Upgraded version of USSD should be rolled out by December 25, 2016,” suggested the panel on adoption of digital payments in its recommendation submitted to the Finance Ministry.

An official statement on Saturday said the panel had suggested that the procedure for simplified Know Your Customer using Aadhaar be adopted.

(With PTI inputs)

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