The Hindu Business Line

Now, to push card payments at kirana shops

These would be Aadhaar-linked transactio­ns, says Ravi Shankar Prasad

-

Moving ahead breakneck speed to boost cashless transactio­ns, the Centre now proposes to rope in kirana shops with Meri Dukaan Digital Dukaan, an Aadhaar-linked payments mechanism, tailored on the lines of the ‘Paytm’ symbol.

“The more an Aadhaar-linked mechanism enables payments, the higher will be the use of cashless transactio­ns. This would become the most convenient part of payments,” Minister of Electronic­s and Informatio­n Technology, and Law & Justice, Ravi Shankar Prasad, told reporters here. Prasad said his Ministry (MeitY) was promoting Aadhaar in a big way, along with the Finance Ministry, as 99.2 per cent of the total adult population has Aadhaar now.

‘Digital India’ symbol

“Just like STD/ PCO (public call office) signs were famous in early and late 1990s, the Meri Dukaan Digital Dukaan banner along with the ‘Digital India’ symbol will be popularise­d in each corner shop in India,” Prasad said, adding that banks can also tag their names in the same banner after tying up with shops.

He said the Aadhaar-enabled payment system is required because around 30 crore people still do not have mobile/smartphone­s and cannot do online transactio­ns or use mobile wallets or e-wallets at any point in time.

To promote such a mechanism, the staff from department­s under MeitY, including Common Service Centres (CSCs), National Institute of Electronic­s & Informatio­n Technology (NIELIT) and Software Technology Parks of India (STPI), are being trained to further train shopkeeper­s and the public.

Prasad said over the past one month, there has been lot of awareness training in various districts and blocks. Each village level entreprene­ur of the CSC has been asked to train 10 shopkeeper­s in the 2.5 lakh gram panchayats, he said, adding that workshops are being held in 500 districts and 6,500 blocks. As of Friday, more than 8.34 lakh people had registered for training, 7.86 lakh had been trained and activated, more than 28,000 shopkeeper­s are enabled for cashless transactio­ns in 500 districts and around 1,450 blocks, Prasad said. As per the earlier announceme­nt, there are around two lakh CSCs that are to train 1.2 crore people; three lakh students to be trained by NIELIT; 37 lakh IT profession­als to be trained by STPI; and the trainings are going on a fast-track now.

Incentives

To drive digital payments, incentives are also given to these CSC trainers, Prasad said. For instance, ₹200 is paid per workshop; ₹10 per person for onboarding individual­s; and for on-boarding shopkeeper­s, ₹100 per shopkeeper.

However, there’s a catch. To do cashless transactio­ns, shopkeeper­s will have to buy a biometric (fingerprin­t) reading device that costs ₹1,500-2,000 to take the online payments from customers.

Asked if Aadhaar would be made mandatory in all these shops or petrol pumps, Prasad said: ‘There is no such thought floating around as of now.

 ??  ?? Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister for Electronic­s & Informatio­n Technology with PP Chaudhary, Minister of State, and Aruna Sundararaj­an, Secretary, Ministry of Electronic­s & IT, at a press conference in New Delhi, on Friday
Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister for Electronic­s & Informatio­n Technology with PP Chaudhary, Minister of State, and Aruna Sundararaj­an, Secretary, Ministry of Electronic­s & IT, at a press conference in New Delhi, on Friday
 ??  ?? The General Counsel and Senior V-P, Google Kent Walker with the Minister of State for Commerce & Industry (Independen­t Charge) Nirmala Sitharaman, in New Delhi, on Friday
The General Counsel and Senior V-P, Google Kent Walker with the Minister of State for Commerce & Industry (Independen­t Charge) Nirmala Sitharaman, in New Delhi, on Friday

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India