December 16th, 2016
To give an impetus to digital transactions in the county, the National Institute for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog, government’s policy think-tank, on Thursday announced a lottery with daily, weekly and mega awards for consumers and merchants who make the transition from cash to digital payments.
NITI Aayog’s CEO Amitabh Kant, in a press conference, announced the introduction of two new schemes — the Lucky Grahak Yojana for consumers, and the Digi-Dhan Vyapar Yojana for merchants at an estimated cost of Rs 340 crore.
The ambit of the schemes will cover transactions between Rs 50 and Rs 3,000 to promote digital payment among every section of the society. Kant said that the first draw would happen on Christmas day this year, and the mega draw on 14 April next year.
National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI) will be implementing the scheme.
15,000 winners will receive cash back prizes of Rs 1,000 every day for a 100 day period starting on December 25 until April 13 next year. This award will be given under the Lucky Grahak Yojana.
There will be 7,000 weekly prizes for consumers with a maximum prize of Rs 1 lakh each. Other awards will be of Rs 10,000 and Rs 5,000.
Under Digi-Dhan Vyapar Yojana, there will be 7,000 weekly awards with a maximum prize of Rs 50,000. Other awards will be of Rs 5,000 and Rs 2,500
Mega awards for both customers and merchants will be announced on April 14.
For consumers, the first prize in Mega awards has been kept Rs 1 crore, second prize is Rs 50 lakh, and third prize is 25 lakh
For merchants, the prizes in Mega awards are Rs 50 lakh, Rs 25 lakh, and Rs 5 lakh, respectively.
Terms of the scheme
The scheme will not cover transactions below Rs 50 and above Rs 5,000, and it will not include any Business to Business (B2B) sales.
Transactions using RuPay, USSD, UPI and Aadhaar Enabled Payment System (AEPS) are covered under this scheme. Credit cards and e-wallets payments will not be included.
What Prime Minister has to say
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday praised the newly introduced schemes, calling it “a Christmas gift to remember.” Along with the advertisements of these two schemes, he tweeted, “These two schemes will further incentivise digital payments.”
To tackle the growing menace of black money and transform India into a “cashless” society, PM Modi on November 8 took a bold step of demonetising Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes. The decision drew immense flak from the oppositions. People were standing in long queues of banks and ATMs which are again not being able to suffice the demands of notes.
With the effect of demonetization, India, however, saw a jump in credit card, online and e-wallet transaction by 271 percent and UPI and USSD transactions increased by about 1,200 percent each, as reported by Times Of India.
These newly introduced schemes come few days after the finance ministry declared incentives and discounts on fuel, highway toll and railway tickets and insurance cover for those using digital payment modes.