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New Delhi : The overnment of India has initiated numerous steps to combat the scourge of Corruption and Black Money in the last two and a half 0years. The Union cabinet had approved a slew of initiatives in February 2016 to encourage digital payments and a transition to less-cash economy in a strategic manner.

PM Narendra Modi had highlighted these measures in his `Man Ki Baat’ address in May 2016. He had urged people to adopt cashless di transactions. He said “If we learn and adapt ourselves to use cashless transactions, then we will not require notes. Businesses will function automatically, resulting in a certain transparency. Under-hand dealings will stop; the influence of black money will be reduced. So I appeal to my countrymen, that we should at least make a beginning. Once we start, we will move ahead with great ease. Twenty years ago who would have thought that so many mobiles would be in our hands. Slowly we cultivated a habit and now we can’t do without those. Maybe this cashless society assumes a similar form. But the sooner this happens, the better it will be.”

It would be recalled that towards this end, the Government had launched a major drive for financial inclusion in terms of opening Jan Dhan accounts, giving a statutory basis for Aadhar, implementation of Directs Benefits Transfer, introduction of RuPay Cards and Voluntary Disclosure Scheme for unaccounted money. Demonetization of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000  notes was another important milestone in this endeavour. Following demonetization, there has been a spurt in the digital payments across the country and both the volume and amount of money transacted through digital methods has seen manifold increase since November 9, 2016.

Yet, as on date, nearly 95% of India’s personal consumption expenditure transactions are cash-based giving rise to a very large informal economy limiting the ability of state to levy and raise taxes, said a PIB release. 

 Now, NITI Ayog has announced the launch of the schemes `Lucky Grahak Yojana' and the Digi- Dhan Vyapari Yojana’ to give cash 0awards to consumers and merchants who utilize digital payment instruments for personal consumption expenditures. The scheme specially focuses on bringing the poor, lower middle class and small businesses into the digital payment fold. It has been decided that National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI) shall be the implementing agency for this scheme, according to a PIB release.

The primary aim of these schemes is to incentivize digital transactions so that electronic payments are adopted by all sections of the society especially the poor and the middle class. It has been designed keeping in mind all sections of the society and their usage patterns. For instance, the poorest of poor will be eligible for rewards by using USSD. People in village and rural areas can participate in this scheme through AEPS. The scheme will become operational with the first draw on December 25, 2016, leading up to a Mega Draw on Babasaheb Ambedkar Jayanti on April 14, 2017. It will comprise of two major components, one for the Consumers and the other for the Merchants:

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