The Union Government in the last week of November 2016 announced the formation of new committee to form a strategy to accelerate the process of transforming India into a cashless economy.
The committee will be headed by Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant. The other members of the committee are the Secretary of the Department of Financial Services, Secretary of Department Of Industrial Policy & Promotion and Secretary of Department of Investment and Public Asset Management, Secretaries of the IT and Rural Development Ministries, Managing Director of the National Payments Corporation of India and the Chairman of National Highways Authority of India (NHAI).
The task of the committee is to identify various obstructions affecting access of digital payments.
The committee was constituted following a directive from the Prime Minister’s Office to back up the demonetisation move.
Tasks of the committee
• The committee will identify and operationalise in the earliest possible time frame user-friendly digital payment options in all sectors of the economy.
• It will engage regularly with Union ministries, regulators, state governments, district administration, local bodies, trade and industry associations to promote adoption of digital payment systems.
• It will attempt to establish and monitor an implementation framework with strict timelines. This will be done to ensure that nearly 80% of the transactions in India moves to the digital-only platform.
• The committee will execute an action plan on advocacy, awareness and handholding efforts among public, micro enterprises and other stakeholders.
• It will also attempt to estimate costs involved in various digital payments options and supervise implementation of measures to make such transactions between the government and citizens cheaper than cash transactions.
• During the first meeting of the committee on 24 November 2016, it was decided to involve Common Service Centres to help train merchants to use digital payment methods.
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