Reserve Bank Governor Shaktikanta Das on Friday said it has been decided to include PM Vishwakarma under the Payments Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF) Scheme as well as extend the tenure of the scheme by another two years.
It is now proposed to extend the PIDF Scheme by a further period of two years, that is up to December 31, 2025, the governor said while announcing bi-monthly monetary policy.
Operationalised in January 2021, the PIDF Scheme aims at incentivising the deployment of payment acceptance infrastructure such as physical Point of Sale (PoS), Quick Response (QR) codes in tier-3 to tier-6 centres, north-eastern states and Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh.
As per the original plan, the tenure of PIDF scheme was fixed for three years till December 2023.
Governor Das said, beneficiaries of PM SVANidhi Scheme in Tier-1 and 2 centres were later included in August 2021 under the PIDF scheme.
As at end-August 2023, over 2.66 crore new touch points have been deployed under the scheme.
"It is now proposed to extend the PIDF Scheme by a further period of two years, i.e., up to December 31, 2025. Also, it is proposed to include beneficiaries of PM Vishwakarma Scheme in all centres under the PIDF Scheme," he said.
This decision to expand the targeted beneficiaries under the PIDF scheme will provide a fillip to the Reserve Bank's efforts towards promoting digital transactions at the grassroots level, he said
Further, he said, based on the feedback received from industry, deployment of emerging modes of payment acceptance, such as soundbox devices and Aadhaar-enabled biometric devices, are proposed to be encouraged under the PIDF Scheme.
This is expected to further accelerate and augment the deployment of payment acceptance infrastructure in the targeted geographies, he said, adding, the amendments will be notified shortly.
PM Vishwakarma scheme launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last month proposes to offer up to 8 per cent subsidy for loans given to artisans.
The scheme provides collateral-free loans up to Rs 3 lakh to artisans at a very affordable interest rate of 5 per cent.
The scheme covers artisans related to 18 fields, including carpenter, goldsmith, blacksmith, mason, stone sculpture, barber and boatmakers.
Initially, Rs 1 lakh loan will be given and the beneficiary would be eligible for an additional Rs 2 lakh after repayment schedule of 18 months.
The components of the scheme will include not only financial support but also access to advanced skill training, knowledge of modern digital techniques and efficient green technologies, brand promotion, linkage with local and global markets, digital payments, and social security.