Ministry of Electronics and IT to spearhead digital payments

S Ronendra Singh New Delhi | Updated on January 13, 2018

Goverment initiatives to promote cashless transactions

PMO not satisfied with NITI Aayog on this

The responsibility for promotion of digital transactions, including digital payments, has been passed on to the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) from NITI Aayog as the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) was not satisfied with latter’s handling of the project.

NITI Aayog, under the leadership of Amitabh Kant was leading this programme with a team of Secretaries.

The programme with an earmarked package of ₹350 crore was handed over to NITI Aayog by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi soon after his announcement of the demonetisation drive on November 8.

“The PMO was not satisfied with the handling of the various digital payment programmes run by the NITI Aayog. Therefore, it was decided that the task should be taken over by MeitY,” a senior government official told BusinessLine. Post the demonetisation move, the government has pushed for digital payments and launched some initiatives such as Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) app and promoting other unified payment interface (UPI) to promote cashless transactions in the country.

The app has already recorded more than 1.70 crore downloads recently.

However, the PMO felt that the right message of reducing corruption and moving towards transparency was not going to the public through NITI Aayog, said a senior government official.

“The Prime Minister has mentioned in his Mann Ki Baat on Sunday that the move towards digital payments as an initiative towards reducing corruption and bringing in transparency. This message was missing in the campaign,” the official said.

Modi in his Mann Ki Baat had urged the youth to become ambassadors of the schemes like ‘Digi-Dhan Vyapar Yojana’ on their own and lead the movement to fight against corruption and black money.

According to a recent report by global telecom body GSM Association and Boston Consulting Group, digital payments industry in India is expected to reach $500 billion by 2020, with over 50 per cent of internet users in the country will be using it by then.

Published on February 27, 2017

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