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Lucky Grahak Yojana and Digi-Dhan Vyapar Yojana
Dec 28, 2016

Promoting digital payment options is an integral part of Government’s overall strategy to weed out black money and corruption from public life. NITI Aayog has been tasked to undertake a comprehensive campaign on advocacy, awareness and co-ordinate handholding efforts among general public, micro enterprises and other stakeholders for digital payments. 

With the goal to ensure that easy and user-friendly methods of digital payments become a mass movement in India, Government also announced a slew of incentives to encourage general public to move from cash to a digital platform. Thus discounts will now be given for payments made on a digital platform at petrol stations, for insurance premium, tolls at national highways and for railway tickets. To reduce transaction costs of digital payments several fees and charges being levied so far by banks and on various government portals have either been reduced or done away with. Scheme has also been launched to improve supply of cards and POS machines in rural areas. Digidhan Melas, where all stakeholders of digital payment ecosystem exhibit and provide actual hand holding to general public in adopting digital payments have also been held to popularise the digital payments amongst the general public. 

To give fillip to the digital payment campaign, it was decided to further incentivise people who actively adopt digital platform for making day to day financial transactions. NITI Aayog, along with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) as its implementation partner, launched two major schemes—Lucky Grahak Yojana for consumers and Digi-Dhan Vyapar Yojana for merchants. By providing monetary rewards for undertaking Digital Transactions made with Rupay cards, AEPS, UPI Apps and USSD, these schemes attempt to attract general public and facilitate significant behavioural change among public. 

The first draw of the Lucky Grahak Yojana to provide a cash back of Rs.1000 to 15,000 consumers every day for the next 100 days was launched on December 25. To create awareness in different parts of the country this event will be held in 100 different cities across India over the next 100 days until March. 

Winners will be selected on a daily and weekly basis under the Lucky Grahak Yojana and weekly basis under the Digi-Dhan Vyapar Yojana respectively, leading up to a mega draw on 14 April 2017, where after the scheme shall be reviewed for further implementation. 

The prizes range from Rs 1000 to Rs 1 crore and the transactions permitted are from Rs 50 to Rs 3000 to keep the focus on the common man. The schemes will not only give a boost to cashless transactions, but will particularly bring the poor, lower middle class and small businesses into the digital payment fold, and new way of life.

The poorest of poor will be eligible for rewards by using USSD, (the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data) System that is applicable to ordinary GSM mobile phones. People in village and rural areas can participate in this scheme through Aadhaar Enabled Payment System (AEPS). 

The Lucky Grahak Yojana for Consumers provides a daily reward of Rs 1000 to be given to 15,000 lucky consumers for a period of 100 days; and weekly prizes of Rs 1 lakh, Rs 10,000 and Rs. 5000 for Consumers who use the alternate modes of digital Payments. This will include all forms of transactions viz. UPI (Unified Payment Interface), USSD, AEPS and RuPay Cards, but will for the time being exclude transactions through Private Credit Cards and Digital Wallets. The Digi-Dhan Vyapar Yojana for Merchants provides Prizes for Merchants for all digital transactions conducted at Merchant Establishments and weekly prizes of Rs. 50,000, Rs 5,000 and Rs. 2,500.

There will be a Mega Draw on 14 April 2017. This will give three Mega Prizes for consumers worth Rs 1 crore, Rs 50 lakh, Rs 25 lakh for digital transactions between 8 November, 2016 and 13 April, 2017. 

For merchants too, there will be three Mega Prizes worth Rs 50 lakhs, Rs 25 lakh, Rs 12 lakh for digital transactions from 8 November, 2016 to 13 April, 2017.

The National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI), a not for profit company, which has the mandate to guide India towards a cashless society, is the implementing agency for the schemes. The NPCI has been directed to ensure a technical and security audit of the same to ensure that the technical integrity of the process is maintained. The Government shall incur an estimated expenditure of Rs 340 crores on the first phase of the scheme.

Presence of various stakeholders of the digital payment ecosystem, like banks, wallets, telecom service providers, other financial service providers, UIDAI at these Digidhan Melas would provide the opportunity to the citizens (both consumers and merchants) to get educated about digital payment options available, the ease of use and also benefit from hand holding provided by the service providers which would encourage wide-scale adoption of digital payments methods. Thus it is expected that large sections of the population would be able to shift from a cash based to a digital platform. In the long term such a mass movement is expected to shift large sections of the consumer and producer sections which was hitherto in the informal sector to the formal fold of the economy.

Other Measures to Boost Digital Payments

To further accelerate the surge in digital transactions, the Government announced an attractive package to promote the use of cashless payments through various concessions like a discount at the rate of 0.75 per cent of the sale price to consumers on purchase of petrol or diesel, if payment is made through digital means. 

To expand the digital payment infrastructure in rural areas, the Central Government through NABARD decided to extend financial support to eligible banks for deployment of two PoS devices each in one Lakh villages with population of less than 10,000.  These PoS machines are intended to be deployed at primary cooperative societies, milk societies and agricultural input dealers to facilitate agri-related transactions through digital means and serve 75 crore population.

No service tax will be charged on digital transaction charges for transactions upto Rs.2000 per transaction. Railway through its sub urban railway network shall provide incentive by way of discount upto 0.5% to customers for monthly or seasonal tickets from January 1, 2017, if payment is made through digital means. Government has waived service tax charged while making payments through credit card, debit card, charge card or any other payment card; limiting the waiver to payments up to Rs. 2,000 in a single transaction.


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