Worried over failure of demonetisation drive, the government on Thursday announced daily, weekly and mega cash awards totaling Rs 340 crore to encourage consumers and merchants for transition to digital payments from monetary transactions.
The award schemes would be effective from December 25, the birthday of Christ and it will come to an end on April 14, the birth anniversary of Bhim Rao Ambedkar – the Dalit mascot.
Announcing the reward scheme, Niti Aayog Chief Executive Officer Amitabh Kant said, “The government has decided to roll out two reward schemes --- Lucky Grahak Yojana and Digi Dhan Vyapar Yojana. The National Payment Council of India (NPCI) will announce 15,000 winners of Rs 1,000 each for next 100 days and 7,000 weekly awards and maximum award of Rs 50,000 each for merchants, under Digi Dhan Vyapar Yojana.”
Both the schemes will cover small transactions between Rs 50 and Rs 3,000 to encourage every section of the society to move to digital payments, Kant said. Terming it a “Christmas Gift” to the country, Kant said the first draw will happen on December 25 and the mega draw on April 14. “Focus of Lucky Grahak and Digi-Dhan Yojana is on poor, middle class and small businesses so as to bring them into digital payments revolution,” Kant said, adding that a consumer can be selected for the award for three times only.
As per estimates, only 5 per cent people of the country use digital payment modes. Consumers winning the first prize of mega awards would get Rs 1 crore as award money followed by Rs 50 lakh and Rs 25 lakh, while in case of merchants, it has been fixed at Rs 50 lakh, Rs 25 lakh and Rs 12 lakh. Kant further states that estimated expenditure of the scheme to incentivize digital payments is Rs 340 crore. Giving details on digital transactions post demonetisation of old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, he said PoS transactions witnessed a jump of 95 per cent since November 8.