Reserve Bank of India: Shaktikanta Das Announces PM Modi Government’s Payment Infrastructure Development Fund Scheme
In a significant announcement, Shaktikanta Das, the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), has unveiled a major government scheme initiated by the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. This scheme, known as the Payment Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF), has been included under the purview of the Reserve Bank of India. Furthermore, it has been decided to extend the scheme for an additional two years, with the goal of expanding it until 2025.
A Brief Overview of the Scheme
The PIDF scheme was launched in January 2021 with the primary aim of establishing the reach of essential infrastructure in smaller and less populated urban areas (Tier-3 to Tier-6 cities), northeastern states, Jammu and Kashmir, and other centrally administered territories. This infrastructure includes Point of Sale (PoS) centers, Quick Response (QR) codes, and other fundamental payment mechanisms.
Extension of the Scheme
Originally, the PIDF scheme was introduced for a period of three years, extending until December 2023. However, Governor Das has proposed an extension of the scheme for an additional two years, taking it until December 31, 2025. This extension signifies the government’s commitment to further develop the digital landscape in the targeted geographical areas.
Inclusion of Beneficiaries
Governor Das has also put forth a proposal to include beneficiaries of the PM Swannidhi Yojana in the PIDF scheme. By August 2023, over 2.66 crore new ‘Touch Points’ have been deployed under the scheme in Tier-1 and Tier-2 regions.
Enhancing Digital Transactions
The decision to extend the PIDF scheme and incorporate beneficiaries of the PM Vishwakarma Yojana is expected to boost digital transactions and enhance the basic payment infrastructure in the designated geographical areas. Governor Das emphasized that these enhancements would facilitate digital transactions at the grassroots level, contributing to the Reserve Bank’s efforts in this direction.
Information on Revisions
Governor Das mentioned that based on feedback from the industry, the proposed revisions under the PIDF scheme include encouraging payment acceptance through emerging methods such as soundbox devices and Aadhar-enabled biometric devices. These modifications aim to expedite the deployment of fundamental payment infrastructure in targeted geographical areas.
Details about these revisions will be disclosed soon.
PM Vishwakarma Yojana
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had launched the PM Vishwakarma Yojana last month. This scheme offers subsidies of up to eight percent on loans given to artisans. The scheme provides craftsmen with loans of up to three lakh rupees at highly favorable interest rates, without the need for collateral.
In conclusion, the extension of the Payment Infrastructure Development Fund scheme is a significant step towards enhancing digital transactions and financial inclusion in India. With the inclusion of beneficiaries from the PM Swannidhi Yojana and proposed revisions to facilitate digital payments, this scheme promises to have a substantial impact on the country’s economic landscape.