Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday listed several central government initiatives to minimise cash transactions in the country, including a 0.5% discount on digital payments for suburban railway ticket bookings, ANI reported. People paying through cards for petrol or diesel will also enjoy 0.75% discount. While the discount on the seasonal ticket booking will be in affect from January 1, 2017, with Mumbai’s suburban railways being the first sector where it will be implemented, the Union minister did not give a timeline for the discounts on fuel purchase.
He also announced insurance cover worth Rs 10 lakh for those buying tickets online. A 5% discount will be made available to those who opt for digital payments when using railway services including catering and retiring rooms. Commuters who opt for digital payments or use Smart TAGs and Radio-Frequency Identification facilities at toll plazas on national highways will get a 10% discount.
Jaitley said Kisan Credit Card holders will be issued Rupay cards by the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development. The finance minister said two point-of-sale machines will be allotted to villages with a minimum population of 10,000 people. One lakh villages will be selected for this facility.
Buying general life insurance policies from PSU insurers’ websites will attract a 10% discount. The measures were announced as the Centre’s demonetisation drive against black money completed a month on Thursday. Jaitley praised Narendra Modi for having “broad shoulders” to take such a huge decision, NDTV reported. Jaitley said cash transactions were a huge burden on the economy.
He said the Reserve Bank of India had been releasing currency on schedule. On November 8, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced that Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes will not be legal tender. He said the step was taken to fight black money, corruption and the circulation of counterfeit currency in the country. Parliament proceedings have been stalled for the third week of the Winter Session.