Watal panel calls for medium-term plan to accelerate growth of digital payments

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 16, 2018 Published on December 09, 2016

Ratan P. Watal, Principal Advisor, NITI Aayog

The Committee on Digital Payments submitted its report to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday. The Committee, headed by the Principal Advisor, NITI Aayog, Ratan P Watal, has recommended a medium-term strategy for accelerating growth of digital payments. The committee has also recommended a regulatory regime aimed at promoting competition, open access and interoperability in payments for bridging the digital divide.

In order to make digital payments more conducive, the committee, comprising of bankers, Finance Ministry and NITI Aayog officials and digital finance professionals, suggested inter-operability of the payments system between banks and non-banks, up-gradation of the digital payment infrastructure and institutions, and a framework to reward innovations and for leading efforts in enabling digital payments.

The Committee decisions were tweaked to incorporate the government decision to demonetise higher value currency notes, according to a Finance Ministry press release. It said: “This committee was seized of the developments following the decision of the Government to cancel legal tender character of currency of high denominations. The committee has calibrated its recommendations accordingly and has provided a suitable framework for smooth and speedy transition towards a digital payments economy.” The Committee had earlier submitted an interim report to the Ministry of Finance on November 21. The Committee was constituted on August 23. Former Deputy RBI Governor HR Khan, Nasscom President, Internet and Mobile Association of India President, and other members of the government representing various arms were a part of this committee.

Published on December 09, 2016
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