NITI Aayog forms panel to draw up roadmap for digital economy

01 December 2016

The government's policy think-tank NITI Aayog on Wednesday constituted a committee of chief ministers and experts to formulate an action plan and draw up a roadmap to implement digital payment systems across the country.

"The committee will examine and implement measures for promoting the use of digital payment systems across the country and usher in transparency, financial inclusion and a healthy ecosystem," an official statement said.

The panel has Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu as convener and Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik, Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Sikkim chief minister Pawan Kumar Chamling, Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, Puducherry chief minister V Narayanasamy and NITI Aayog vice chairman Arvind Panagariya as members.

NITI Aayog chief executive Amitabh Kant will be the member secretary.

Five experts from diverse fields will assist the committee as special invitees in formulating the action plan and preparing the roadmap to implement the digital payments systems with the participation of people across the country.

The experts in the panel include former UIDAI chairman Nandan Nilekani, Boston Consulting Group chairman Janmejaya Sinha, netCORE managing director Rajesh Jain, iSpirit co-founder Sharad Sharma and IIM-Ahmedabad professor (finance) Jayant Varma.

The committee has been asked to identify the global best practices for implementing an economy primarily based on digital payment and examine the possibility of adoption of these global standards in the Indian context.

It will identify and outline measures for rapid expansion and adoption of the system of digital payments like cards (debit, credit and pre-paid), digital-wallets / e-wallets, internet banking, unified payments interface (UPI), banking apps etc and also broadly indicate the road map to be implemented in one year.

The panel has been asked to evolve an action plan to reach out to the public at large with the objective of creating awareness and help them understand the benefits of such a switchover to digital economy.

It will also prepare a roadmap for the administrative machineries in the states to facilitate adoption of digital modes of financial transactions.

The panel has been asked to identify and address bottlenecks and indicate solutions pertaining to adoption of the steps required to move towards a digital payments economy.

The panel will associate itself with key stakeholders for implementation of the suggested steps towards a digital payments economy, delineate and adopt measures evolved by the committee of officers constituted for the purpose and examine and address any other associated issues which are not specifically mentioned herein.

The committee may devise its own procedures for conducting business/ meetings/ constitution of sub-groups, etc.

Since economic growth with financial inclusion and equity is a key priority of the government, enabling broader access and participation in the financial system will help reduce income inequality, boost job creation, accelerate consumption, increase investments in human capital and help the poor families to manage risk and absorb financial shocks.

Digitisation of payments would significantly enhance financial inclusion by overcoming physical barriers and would thus enhance access to financial services rapidly. In addition, it would also enable formalisation of all financial transactions thus increasing transparency and plugging leakages from the system.

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