ALMOST a month after demonetization of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes and the subsequent scarcity of new notes, the Central government has begun a massive campaign under which district administrations are being incentivized to educate all citizens for expeditious transition into digital payments economy. The government think-tank NITI Aayog, which has been given a mandate to execute the scheme, has asked all district collectors to assemble 'Digital Armies' comprising skilled youth of their areas to speed up the transition into digital payments. NITI CEO Amitabh Kant, the officer who led campaigns such as Incredible India and Make in India has written to all collectors asking them to…"lead the change”. According to the scheme, NITI Aayog will provide upto Rs 5 lakh for every district in India to promote digital payments among citizens right from the Panchayat-level. Districts collectors will be provided Rs 10, for every citizen who performs at least 2 cashless transactions, as logistical support. Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology will further give Rs 100 to CSE operator for every merchant transacting digitally and Rs 5 for every citizen transitioning into digital payments.
In fact, NITI Aayog has made it clear that it fosters healthy competition among districts. And the districts with fast transitioning into digital payments will get more incentives to enrol more citizens. That’s not all. There could be some awards too. The top 15 districts and top 50 panchayats will be recognised for taking lead in the digital payments campaign, NITI CEO Kant announced.
Kant said in his Twitter handle that NITI’s attempt is to take Digital Payment movement to every village, taluk, panchayat and district of India. “Unique opportunity 2 fast forward india”, he added. Replying to a query whether NITI has now become an executing body of the government, he writes: “Unlike the erstwhile Planning Commission there are no boundaries 4 a new organisation like Niti Aayog”.