New Delhi: The high-level panel appointed by the Union government to promote the use of digital payments in the country held its first meeting on Thursday and discussed ways to make e-wallets interoperable and promote use of different modes of digital payments depending on the requirements of various states.
“All the options for digital payments such as debit and credit cards, Unified Payment Interface (UPI), Aadhaar-enabled payments system and e-wallets were discussed. We also discussed the proposal of making e-wallets interoperable. Each option is for a specific category of people and each state can adopt the measures of payment depending upon its requirement,” said a person who attended the meeting and did not wish to be identified.
The panel, comprising six chief ministers and experts like Nandan Nilekani, was set up on Wednesday by the Union government to ready a blueprint for India’s transition to a less-cash economy in the next one year.
Andhra Pradesh chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu is the convener of the panel which also includes Niti Aayog chief executive Amitabh Kant and chief ministers like Naveen Patnaik of Odisha (Biju Janata Dal), V. Narayanasamy of Puducherry (Congress), Pawan Kumar Chamling of Sikkim (Sikkim Democratic Front) and Shivraj Singh Chouhan of Madhya Pradesh and Devendra Fadnavis of Maharashtra, both of whom belong to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Sikkim Democratic Front is an ally of the BJP in the ruling National Democratic Alliance.
In the first meeting held in the Niti Aayog office and attended by a few through video conferencing, chief ministers pitched for ensuring that digital payments reach the grassroots level. Fadnavis was cited by Niti Aayog’s official Twitter handle as saying: “Even in villages people are adapting willing(ly). We need to work on making cashless instruments more accessible.”
Chouhan is said to have pitched for a massive education campaign to promote digital payments including street plays and social media to involve communities.
The terms of reference of the committee include a roadmap for rapid adoption of digital payment systems such as debit, credit and prepaid cards, digital wallets, Internet banking, UPI and banking apps.