Band­width Hic­cups a Hand­i­cap for Dig­i­tal In­dia Push

The Economic Times - - Finance & Commodities - Pratik.Bhakta @times­group.com

Mum­bai: As In­dia em­barks on de­vel­op­ing its dig­i­tal pay­ments ecosys­tem in a big way post-de­mon­eti­sa­tion, in­fras­truc­ture is­sues around band­width avail­abil­ity for pay­ments and peo­ple’s fear of mak­ing dig­i­tal pay­ments are ma­jor con­cerns for the gov­ern­ment, said Andhra Pradesh Chief Min­is­ter Nara Chan­drababu Naidu in Mum­bai on Wed­nes­day. “We need both band­width as well as hard­ware. In­dia is ve- ry weak in hard­ware also, which we are im­port­ing even to­day,” said Naidu. “There is band­width avail­able to a cer­tain ex­tent, but that is not ad­e­quate. I have also been talk­ing about the per capita con­sump­tion of band­width.”

Naidu, who is heading the chief min­is­ters’ com­mit­tee for pro­mot­ing dig­i­tal pay­ments con­sti­tuted by the cen­tral gov­ern­ment, said that while the com­mit­tee’s in­terim re­port has al­ready been brought out, the fi­nal one is be­ing pre­pared and the panel is study­ing the best prac­tices avail­able glob­ally to present its rec­om­men­da­tions.

“We have al­ready pre­sented the in­terim re­port in con­sul­ta­tion with var­i­ous stake­hold­ers and the Re­serve Bank. Now we have to study the best prac­tices glob­ally and im­ple­ment them here,” said Naidu. “Dig­i­tal pay­ments are the way for­ward and it has a host of ad­van­tages.” He was speak­ing at an event where a mem­o­ran­dum of un­der­stand­ing was signed be­tween the Andhra Pradesh gov­ern­ment and Visa and Thom­son Reuters, to turn Fin­tech Val­ley at Visakhapatnam into a na­tional cen­tre for fin­tech in­no­va­tion.

Naidu said that if pay­ments move to dig­i­tal chan­nels, In- dia will be able to root out cor­rup­tion, bring in trans­parency, in­crease rev­enue and fight fraud. Naidu also stressed on the Aad­haar plat­form and how it can act as a base for In­dia’s move to be a less cash society.

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