New Delhi, Dec 08, 2016 : It’s been a month since the government banned old 500 and 1000-rupee notes as part of its fight against unaccounted or black money. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today announced 11 measures that the government has taken to expedite the digital switchover, including a 0.75 per cent discount for those who purchase petrol or diesel through digital payments.
Following are the highlights of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s media briefing:
The aim of demonetisation is to reduce cash transactions as much as possible.
The government is encouraging alternate forms of payment. It aims to push and implement the use of credit cards, debit cards, mobile wallets and online banking.
Around 4.5 crore consumers purchase fuel every day. For those using cards and e-wallets, petrol and diesel purchases will now attract a 0.75% discount.
The government will provide 2 POS or Point of Sale machines for free to each village that has a population of over 8,000.
Around 75 crore people will get access to these machines.
Suburban train passengers who pay digitally for their tickets will get a 0.5% discount. This discount will be applicable from January 1, 2017.
Railways passengers who purchase tickets online will be entitled to an insurance coverage of Rs. 10 Lakhs for free.
Passengers purchasing tickets online will also get a 5% discount on accommodation, catering and retiring room at Railway Stations.
No service tax will be charged on transactions of up to Rs. 2,000 if a card is used.
People paying general insurance premiums will get a 10% discount and 8% discount for life insurance if the payment is made online.
Government bodies will not charge a transaction fee for digital payments.
People who pay digitally and use Smart TAGs and RFID facilities at toll plazas on national highways will get a 10% discount.
Excessive cash can also lead to malpractices, and thus it is being discouraged. The shift to a ’less-cash’ economy has to be achieved.
The cost of these discounts will be borne by the concerned institutions.
Dealing in cash brings its own costs and burdens, so this will be a welcome change.
Merely depositing money into bank accounts won’t change black to white. All these transactions will be closely scrutinised and a tax will be imposed on it.
Any misconduct will be dealt with seriously.