A panel headed by Nandan Nilekani, has suggested to make any payments above Rs. 1000 be made or received electronically. The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) chairman feels this move should be really helpful in cutting down the amount of money siphoned of as graft or kick-backs. The panel is of the opinion that this alteration will boost transparency & increase accountability.
At present Govt. hands out subsidy & benefits to the tune of Rs. 3.5 Lakh Crores. This amount to almost 3.5% our National Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Circumstantial evidence shows that large sums of these monies go missing because of pilferage or leakages in the system. The panel’s suggestion to set up a network of 10 lakh interoperable micro-ATMs which will help moving the funds electronically should prevent such blatant stealing from National treasury. The micro-ATMs will be jointly used by business people & Government Authorities to transfer & receive money. To support the genuineness of the transaction Aadhar Identification cards will be used as “Financial Address”.
These small ATMs will be evenly distributed across villages. Reassuringly, the recommendations have been accepted ‘In-Principle’ by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee. He further confirmed that necessary steps would be taken to implement the recommendations of the report. The implementation of making all payments to Govt. & receiving them in electronic form may be an uphill task to begin with.
However, it is certainly a step in the right direction, especially when companies sometime have to down shutters owing to scams.
Surprisingly, the banks will earn through this system as the panel has recommended a transaction fee of Rs. 20 or 3.14% (whichever is lower) for every transaction. Mobile commerce was to make a comeback, but combination of Mobile number linkage with Aadhar & Govt. e-payment gateways, will surely pave a new way for Banking for Front-line development & grass-root workers.
We sure hope this is implemented. What are your views?