Indian Affairs

India is first country to give discounts on online payments

India has become the first nation to subsidize the use of digital cash after the government unveiled a raft of measures including discounts on online payments for insurance policies, rail tickets and highway toll charges.

  • Exactly 30 days after junking existing high-value 500 and 1,000 rupee notes, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley sought to draw Indians toward digital payments by offering up to 10 percent off on insurance policies, highway usage and concessions on train travel. The government will also waive service tax on online transactions below 2,000 rupees ($29.6),  Apart from these, there will be a 0.75 percent discount at petrol stations even though oil companies currently add a surcharge for using debit or credit cards.
  • A relative laggard in digital transactions, India has more recently seen 50 percent year-on-year growth, according to a study by Google and Boston Consulting Group.

Digital India program:

Digital India is a campaign launched by the Government of India to ensure that Government services are made available to citizens electronically by improving online infrastructure and by increasing Internet connectivity or by making the country digitally empowered in the field of technology.

It was launched on 1 July 2015 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The initiative includes plans to connect rural areas with high-speed internet networks. Digital India consists of three core components. These include:

  • The creation of digital infrastructure
  • Delivery of services digitally
  • Digital literacy