In order to incentivize Digital Payments, the Government of India, today, kick-started the Lucky Grahak Yojana and Digi-Dhan Vyapar Yojana awards at the Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi. Shri Arun Jaitley, Hon’ble Union Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs, GoI and Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad, Hon’ble Union Minister of Electronics & Information Technology and Law & Justice, GoI launched the awards today in the presence of Shri P. P. Chaudhary, Hon’ble Union Minister of State for Electronics & Information Technology and Law & Justice, Shri Arvind Panagariya, Vice Chairman, Niti Aayog, Shri Amitabh Kant, CEO, Niti Aayog, Ms. Aruna Sundararajan, Secretary, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Shri M.M. Kutty, Chief Secretary, Delhi, Shri Naresh Kumar, President NDMC and Shri A. P. Hota, CEO, NPCI along with famous India Cricketer Gautam Gambhir and eminent athlete and silver medallist at the Paralympics 2016, Deepa Malik.
• 15000 Winners of the first Lucky Draw to incentivise digital payments announced
• Daily and weekly rewards to both consumers and merchants to announced in Digi Dhan Melas in 100 cities over the next 100 days
• NDMC becomes totally digitized
To make Digital payments and a less cash society a mass movement in India, the DigiDhan Mela will take place in 100 different cities across the country over the next 100 days until March. Today’s DigiDhan Mela witnessed the participation of nearly 5000 people.
A total of 15000 winners were selected under 4 broad categories (USSD, UPI, AEPS, RuPay)from the 8 crore digital transactions that took place between 9th November 2016 to 21st December 2016:
NPCI announced the winners of today’s lucky draw will receive a message from their banks and the reward money will be credited into their bank accounts over the next 24 hours. Citizens may check if they have received the reward by logging on to: www.digidhanlucky.mygov.in .
In his opening remarks, Shri Amitabh Kant, CEO, Niti Aayog said, “The government of India has taken a slew of steps to fight corruption and the menace of black money over the last two and a half years. It started with the creation of Jan Dhan Accounts and led to Aadhaar cards for all. India is also the only country that boasts of over 1 billion Aadhaar accounts and over a billion mobile users with access to RuPay cards. At least 70% of our population is under the age of 35. India is known for its IT infrastructure and its citizens are proficient in casting votes using Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs). It is just a matter of time before India is heralded into an era of development, that is, digital revolution.”
“Demonetisation has been one of the boldest steps taken by the Government of India to fight corruption. This will make economic transactions more accountable. I am happy to share that the volume of digital transactions in India has gone up by 300 – 350% since November 9th, 2016. This is an indicator of citizens’ enthusiasm in embracing digital payment options,” added Shri Amitabh Kant.
Speaking on the occasion, Hon’ble Union Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs, Arun Jaitley, said, “The central Government’s annual budget is around 20 lakh crore and 16 lakh crore has been this years’ income. Half of this came from income tax and the remaining from other indirect taxes. To meet the deficit, the government must borrow and this leaves the country and the next generation in debt. We must ensure a strategic framework that works as a catalyst to India’s economic growth and a safe digitized economy.”
Jaitley emphasized on that fact that “India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world despite the slowdown. India has huge potential to transform the economy in to a digital one. Of 125 crore people, 75 crore use credit and debit cards. Of these, 45 crore are active users. With incentive schemes like Lucky Grahak Yojana and DigiDhan Vyapar Yojana, the Digital India movement will certainly strengthen the country’s economic backbone.”
Hon’ble Union Minister of Electronics & Information Technology and Law & Justice, Ravi Shankar Prasad, said “Digital India, Skill India, Start-Up India etc are all part of the transformative process, that the Prime Minister has embarked upon. Already 109 crore Indians are registered with the Aadhaar, 50 crore people have access to internet and 35 crore people are smart-phones users. We are now working on a mission to provide training to over 1 crore rural citizens, through 2 lakh Common Service Centres. Over the last 10 days, we have been able to provide training to 76,99,174 citizens and 2,20,741 merchants and traders.”
“Digital India means honest governance, digital payment means an honest mode of transaction, digital economy means a strengthened economy. Through digital transactions, we have been able to save around Rs.36 thousand crore in various projects that were earlier unaccounted for. The Government’s motto is to remain digitally connected as well as remain physically connected. We will reach out to every nook and corner of the country, and continue this lucky draw for next 100 days, wherein every day 15000 people will win awards and will culminate with a mega draw on 14th April 2017,” added Shri Ravi Shakar Prasad
In her inspiring speech, Deepa Mailk said, “I firmly believe that whenever we learn to adapt to change, we win. Our country is undergoing a change, a transformation that is going to lead us to a digital era. We must be ready to accept, learn and adopt new technologies that will certainly make our lives better, convenient and help the country to progress. The awards announced under the Lucky Grahak Yojana and DigiDhan Vyapar Yojana are a perfect Christmas gift that citizens and merchant have received from the government. I appeal to you all to come forward and join in the journey of digital and cashless payments.”
Ms. Aruna Sundararajan, Secretary, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology said, “India is going through rapid digital transformation. Adoption of technology by the people of India for digital payments is an indication of the tremendous support from citizens of India for clean, honest and transparent governance”
During the event, Shri M.M. Kutty, Chief Secretary, Delhi and Shri Naresh Kumar, President NDMC were felicitated for turning NDMC into digital. To inspire more and more citizens to adopt digital payment methods, cricketer Gautam Gambhir paid his electricity bill online, without cash, at the event. Winners of the Lucky Grahak Yojana and the Digi-Dhan Vyapar Yojana will be selected on a daily and weekly basis respectively, leading up to a mega draw on 14th April 2017, where after the scheme shall be reviewed for further implementation.
The draws for these events will take place in100 different cities around India, in an event at each of these cities where DigiDhan Mela will also be organised. Presence of various stakeholders of the digital payment ecosystem, like banks, wallets, telecom service providers, other financial service providers, UIDAI at these Digidhan Melas would provide the opportunity to the citizens – both consumers and merchants – to get educated about digital payment options available, the ease of use and also benefit from hand holding provided by the service providers which would encourage wide-scale adoption of digital payments methods. In the long term such a mass movement is expected to shift large sections of the consumer and producer sections which was hitherto in the informal sector to the formal fold of the economy.
Promoting digital payment options is an integral part of Government’s overall strategy to weed out black money and corruption from public life. NITI Aayog has been tasked to undertake a comprehensive campaign on advocacy, awareness and co-ordinate handholding efforts among general public, micro enterprises and other stakeholders for digital payments. With the goal of ensuring that easy and user-friendly methods of digital payments become a mass movement in India, Government also announced a slew of incentives to encourage general public to move from cash to a digital platform. Discounts will now be given for payments made on a digital platform at petrol stations, for insurance premium, tolls at national highways and for railway tickets. To reduce transaction costs of digital payments several fees and charges being levied so far by banks and on various government portals have either been reduced or done away with. Schemes have also been launched to improve supply of cards and POS machines in rural areas. Digidhan Melas, where all stakeholders of digital payment ecosystem exhibit and provide actual hand holding to general public in adopting digital payments have also been held to popularise the digital payments amongst the general public.
To give a fillip to the digital payment campaign, it was decided to further incentivise people who actively adopt digital platform for making day to day financial transactions. NITI Aayog, along with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) as its implementation partner, launched two major schemes – Lucky Grahak Yojana for consumers and Digi-Dhan Vyapar Yojana for merchants. By providing monetary rewards for undertaking Digital Transactions made with Rupay cards, AEPS, UPI Apps and USSD, these schemes attempt to attract general public and facilitate significant behavioural change among public.