Nellore: Union minister for urban development M. Venkaiah Naidu on Saturday inaugurated a Digi Dhan Mela at the AC Subba Reddy Stadium in Nellore. The mela has 87 stalls pertaining to public and private organisations, banks, tele service providers, oil marketing companies and government departments. Speaking on the occasion, Mr Naidu said the demonetisation scheme launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi was a bold and historic step by the government to fight corruption, black money, terrorism and counterfeit currency.
Referring to note withdrawal as an effective anti-scam vaccine to prevent scams taking place through corruption and black money generation, the minister thanked and saluted the people for their support and sacrifices in this endeavour of the government. He said demonetisation was an initiative with many objectives including ushering attitudinal changes on the part of all stakeholders like government employees, businessmen and traders, investors, political class and the common man.
“We need to change the way we look at and use money. We need to modernise our cash transactions and cash management so that cash is not hoarded resulting in inefficient use of it. The objective is to promote digital transactions and make our economy less cash-dependent,” he added. Referring to “Digital Jagriti, a programme to give push to digital economy”, Mr Naidu said that a total of 2.01 crore people and 15.51 lakh shopkeepers in 650 districts and 5,735 blocks were trained under the scheme.
The government has also launched the BHIM app using Aadhaar platform and Unified Payment Inte-rface (UPI) to facilitate e-payments directly through bank. It can be used on all mobile devices, be it a smart phone or a feature phone with or without internet connection. All you need is a ‘Thumb.’ So far in just about two-and-a-half months 1.8 crore people have adapted to BHIM app, the minister observed.There is a three times increase in digital payments from `254.5 crore in 2013-14 to `865.9 crore in 2016-17. Since demonetisation, there has been a 584 per cent increase from 3 lakh to 45 lakh in transactions made through UPI.
Aadhaar based payments jumped by 1,352 per cent. The value of Ru Pay card usage increased from Rs10.8 crore in 14-15 to Rs212.9 cr in 2016-17 at POS machines, the minister said. In the past 90 days since the launch of digi dhan mela 14 lakh consumers and 77,000 shopkeepers have been rewarded with Rs226 crore for embracing digital payments. The programme will be brought to a culmination on April 14, the birth anniversary of Baba Saheb Ambedkar (on 100th day of constitution). And on the closing day, a bumper draw with a grand prize will be arranged.