You can win an award if you’ve made a digital transaction after Nov 8, govt says | india-news | Hindustan Times
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You can win an award if you’ve made a digital transaction after Nov 8, govt says

In a bid to promote electronic transactions, NITI Aayog, the government’s think tank, has proposed weekly and quarterly lucky draws for people making payments through digital mode.

india Updated: Dec 10, 2016 21:41 IST
NITI Aayog has proposed weekly and quarterly lucky draws for those who make electronic transactions.
NITI Aayog has proposed weekly and quarterly lucky draws for those who make electronic transactions. (Sunil Ghosh /HT File Photo)

In a bid to promote electronic transactions, NITI Aayog, the government’s think tank, has proposed weekly and quarterly lucky draws for people making payments through digital mode.

“NITI Aayog has requested National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI) to conceptualize and launch a new scheme to incentivize digital payments,” said a press release.

Sources told HT that Rs 125 crore will be spent annually in prizes for transactions in all modes of digital payments. The contours of the scheme will be announced shortly.

All consumers and merchants using digital payments shall be eligible for the draws even as the focus will be to incentivize “the poor, lower middle class and small businesses.”

However, it would be ensured that all those who have used digital payment systems after November 8 shall be eligible to participate in the scheme.

“There are two levels of incentive amounts available under the scheme. Weekly lucky draw of the transaction IDs generated in that week, the contours of which are being finalized. Quarterly draw for grand prizes,” said the release.

The draws will be conducted by the NPCI, India’s retail payment gateway. The prize money will come from the Financial Inclusion Fund set up with a corpus of Rs 500 crore by the Centre, Reserve Bank of India and Nabard.

“It is possible to leverage technology to carry out business transactions digitally through online payments, mobile banking, e-wallets, debit cards etc. There are a large number of instruments to move from digital to digi-dhan.

In Africa a developing country like Kenya has made this possible. In a country like India where 65% of the population is below 35 years of age, whose IT prowess is well recognized and where even poor and illiterate people exercise their franchise through EVMs, this transformation toward digital economy is definitely possible provided the citizens resolve to do so,” said the release.

“In order to realize this vision, we need to encourage electronic payments and nudge the society to move from digital to digi-dhan,” it added.

For merchants, transactions made on the POS machines installed at their locations would be considered.

Niti Aayog’s announcement comes days after the finance ministry declared multiple incentives -- ranging from discounts on fuel, highway toll and railway tickets to cheaper insurance cover – for those using digital payment modes.

The government has come under opposition attack for its November 8 move to recall Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes but it has repeatedly defended itself, saying the decision was necessary to stamp out black money and counterfeit currency.

In recent weeks, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also extolled the virtues of a cashless society, giving examples of beggars using ATM machines, and said any pain from a shortage of cash was temporary and that the move will benefit the country in the long run.