Adhaar architect Nandan Nilekani called to assist govt. on digital payments

UPA government’s super hit – Aadhaar identification project’s man in charge and technocrat Nandan Nilekani was called into service by the government to head a 13-member committee. The committee will suggest ways to encourage people to adopt digital payment systems.

Government is now in a hurry to maximize and showcase the returns from demonetization. New forecasts from experts and rating agencies rates demonetization as a GDP dampener.

So far attempts are concentrating to exhibit the high achievements on two fronts- black money and cashless transaction. On the cashless transaction front, the huge number of illiterates, rural orientation, weak penetration of smart phone use and poor quality internet facility are hurting government efforts to promote digital payments.

Both smartphone use and point of sale machine will have short run difficulties as digital payment promotion modes especially in rural areas.

Obviously, the committee hence should look on Unified Payment Interface (UPI) as the cheap and quick way to promote cashless transactions.

The Committee is expected to work in an urgent way to suggest the promotional measures for digital payments in the country. “India has the underlying digital financial architecture in place to get this going,” Nilekani said in during initial deliberations.  “How quickly the government can reach everyone is a question of execution and speed.” He pointed out the real focus of the committee. 

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