Union Government constitutes Committee to suggest steps to promote card payments

Posted on:27 Aug 2016 18:09:36
Union Government constitutes Committee to suggest steps to promote card payments
27 August 2016 Current Affairs: The Union Finance Ministry has constituted 11 members high-level committee to suggest steps to promote card payments with an aim to discourage cash transactions. The 11-member committee will be headed by Principle Adviser for social sector in NITI Aayog and former Finance Secretary Ratan P Watal.

Recommend various measures to incentivise transactions through cards and digital means, e.g., through tax incentives/rebates, introduction of cash back/lottery. Review the payments system in the country and recommend measures for encouraging digital payments. Study and recommend need for changes, if any, in the regulatory mechanism under various laws, relevant for the purpose of promotion of payments by digital modes. 

Study feasibility of creating a payments history of all card and digital payments and ensure that merchants and consumers can leverage the data to access. Study and recommend ways for leveraging Unique Identification Number (UID) or any other proof of identity for authentication of card and digital transactions.

 Study introduction of single window system of payment gateway to accept all types of cards and digital payments of government receipts. Look into the scope of integration of all government systems like Public Finance Management System, Bharatkosh, PayGov and eKuber. Identify regulatory bottlenecks and suggest changes. Study global best practices in payments and identify possible market failures along with suitable interventions.

The Committee will submit its report in one year. Its member will include former RBI Deputy Governor H R Khan, Chairman of Indian Banks Association, President of Nasscom and CBDT Chairperson. 

The high-level committee has been set up following a decision taken by the Union Cabinet in February 2016 for introduction of steps for promotion of cashless payments (transactions) through cards and digital means. The Cabinet had approved withdrawal of surcharge, service charge and convenience fee on card and digital payments. It also approved mandating payments beyond a prescribed threshold only through a card or digital mode. This decision was taken in pursuance of Union Government’s promise for measures that were announced in the 2015 Budget as one way to curb the flow of black money is to discourage cash transactions.

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