The Government has asked automobile manufacturers to provide a digital identity tag in all new vehicles, including cars, to enable electronic payment at all toll plazas and ensure seamless movement at check posts. Moving towards a cashless digital economy was one of the objectives behind Prime Minister Narenda Modi’s surprise announcement earlier this month to ban old 500 and 1000 rupee notes, sweeping away 86 per cent of total currency in circulation.
In a nation where a majority of consumers still deal in cash, the government is pushing for electronic transactions to improve transparency and weed out black money. “So, as far as toll plazas are concerned, the Ministry of Road, Transport and Highways is advising vehicle manufacturers that in all new vehicles, the manufacturers must provide Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) facility,” Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das said.
The provision of Electronics Product Code Global Incorporated (EPCG)-compliant Radio-Frequency Identification facility in all new vehicles will ensure payment of toll digitally and also avoid the waiting time, and the vehicles will move seamlessly without having to wait at check posts. “This will improve the functioning of toll plaza, digital payments,” Das said.
In view of the crunch in availability of lower denomination and new currency following the demonetisation move, the Government has exempted all national highways from payment of toll till November 24. Radio-Frequency Identification tag will ensure that the electronic toll collection system will ensure that when vehicle pass the toll tax booths, they can pass without stopping at the toll booths. The toll amount is deducted from the RFID card. Those tags could be recharged for future use.
“Government organisations, PSUs and other government authorities have been advised to use
only digital payment methods such as internet banking, unified payment interface, cards, Aadhar-enabled payment systems to make payments to all stakeholders and their employees,” he added.