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News Entry# 288075
  
Dec 09 2016 (09:16)  Centre pushing the buttons hard for a digital shift (www.thehindu.com)
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Commentary/Human Interest

News Entry# 288075     
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Posted by: rdb*^  127239 news posts
The increase in digital payments at petrol pumps had reduced the cash requirement by Rs. 360 crore, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told a press conference here on Thursday.
Mr. Jaitley said the incentive scheme had the potential to shift at least 30 per cent more transactions to digital means, which could further cut the requirement of cash by Rs. 2 lakh crore a year.
The Centre also plans to provide two point-of-sale devices free to every village with a population of at least 10,000 through its Financial Inclusion Fund.
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credit societies and milk distribution societies will be chosen and this will give access to 75 crore people,” Mr. Jaitley said.
Also, those who make digital payments to buy general insurance from public sector companies will get a 10 per cent discount, and those buying life insurance will get an 8 per cent discount. All suburban rail travellers will get a 0.5 per cent discount on the purchase of monthly or seasonal passes using digital payments from January 1. Mr. Jaitley said this would initially roll out in Mumbai. Regional rural banks and cooperative banks would issue Rupay debit cards to all 4.32 crore farmers with kisan credit cards to enable them to make digital transactions, he said.
“Around 58 per cent of rail travellers book their tickets online at the moment,” Mr. Jaitley said. “Those who book using digital transactions will get free a Rs. 10-lakh accident insurance cover with their ticket. Those who pay by cash will not be able to avail of this facility,” Mr. Jaitley said.
Travellers paying for railway catering, accommodation and retiring room facilities electronically would get a 5 per cent discount.
“The Central government departments and central public sector undertakings will ensure that transaction fee or MDR (merchant discount rate) charges associated with payments through digital means shall not be passed on to the consumers and all such expenses shall be borne by them,” Mr. Jaitley said.
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