Looks like ‘Acche Din’ for
digital India are definitely on the horizon after Union Budget’s announcement. There’s a lot to look forward to as India takes significant steps to set a digital economy – this includes improvement in broadband net access, speedy and secure digital payments and general improvement of digital services altogether. Let’s have a look at the highlights of Union Budget with reference to digital improvements
After laying over 1,55,000 kilometres of optical fibre cables in the country under the Bharat Net Project, the government has now announced an allocation of Rs 10,000 crores with a view to making high-speed broadband available to over 1.5 lakh Gram Panchayats by 2018 – making it easier to access hotspots and digital services at lower tariffs. Additionally, a ‘Digi Gaon’ initiative will also be launched to provide telemedicine, education and skills through digital technology to villages across India.
After launching the Aadhaar Enabled Payment System (AEPS), the government is all set to launch its merchant version, Aadhaar Pay. This will be specifically beneficial for those who do not have debit cards, mobile wallets and mobile phones. A target of 2,500 crore digital transactions through UPI, USSD, Aadhar Pay, IMPS and debit cards is projected in 2017-18. An additional 10 lakh PoS terminals will need to be set up by banks. They will also be encouraged to introduce 20 lakh Aadhaar-based PoS by September 2017. Also, in a bid to address cyber security concerns, the government will be taking measures to strengthen digital payment infrastructure and grievance handling mechanisms.
Online booking on IRCTC
Cashless reservations have gone up from 58% to 68% in the last year and to further push online bookings and digital payments, the IRCTC service charge for online booking will be waived.
Currently, over 1.25 crore citizens are using the BHIM app for digital transactions. The government will launch two new schemes to promote the usage of BHIM: Referral Bonus Scheme for individuals and a Cashback Scheme for merchants.