Rediff.com  » Business » IT minister gives telcos one week for cashless action plan

IT minister gives telcos one week for cashless action plan

By Karan Choudhury
December 13, 2016 12:27 IST
Get Rediff News in your Inbox:

The telecom companies have also been asked to urgently improve their infrastructure, as the government aims to digitise a host of services.

Ravi Shankar Prasad, minister of electronics and information technology, has given a week to mobile telephone service providers for a plan on how to increase cashless transactions, sources said.

At a meeting on Friday, Prasad apparently met representatives from Jio, Airtel, Idea, Vodafone and BSNL, among others. Apart from promoting of digital payments, the minister asked them to find ways of making it possible for feature phones to pay and accept e-payments.

“The service providers are on-board with the idea and have said they would be ready with a plan in a week. The minister wants the telecom players to come up with different solutions. From our end, we will help them in every way possible,” said a senior official in the ministry.

The latter has also asked the telecom companies to urgently improve their infrastructure, as the government aims to digitise a host of services. The ministry's biggest concern at present is the connectivity issue.

Digital Push

  • IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad met representatives from Jio, Airtel, Idea, Vodafone and BSNL, among others
  • Apart from promoting of digital payments, the minister asked them to find ways of making it possible for feature phones to pay and accept e-payments
  • The telecom companies have also been asked to urgently improve their infrastructure, as the government aims to digitise a host of services

“Telecom companies have to reach the interiors, so that we are able to start digital services in rural areas. Point-of-sale machines, mobile wallets and UPI (United Payments Interface) would only work if there's connectivity. The government has also asked (State-owned) BSNL for rapid expansion of its network,” added the official.

As reported earlier, the ministry has launched a TV channel named ‘DigiShala’. It is a satellite channel but airing it is not mandatory for the service provider and direct-to-home customers may opt for it. The channel would be managed by Doordarshan and use its infrastructure.

The ministry has also launched a website (www.cashlessindia.gov.in), to be a repository of knowledge regarding digital payment. Teams have been formed to think of ways to digitise payments and promote the methods. Apart from talks with mobile wallet and payment gateways companies on e-payments.

The urban development ministry has also taken steps to digitise payments. They say they've spoken to various statutory local bodies and reviewed the process of computerisation. The bodies have been told to ensure most payments -- for water, property and other local taxes -- are done electronically. By March, most city governments are expected to start accepting payments electronically.

Get Rediff News in your Inbox:
Karan Choudhury
Source: source
 

Moneywiz Live!