Discounts, Insurance And More: Government Incentivises Digital Payments With New MeasuresFinance Minister Arun Jaitley speaks during a press conference. (PRAKASH SINGH/AFP/Getty Images)

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today (8 December) announced new measures in a press conference to incentivise digital payments and accelerate India’s move towards digital economy. Jaitley said dealing in cash had economic costs and, thus, the government was promoting payments by credit and debit cards and e-wallets.

Here are the measures:

- Discount of 0.75 per cent on petrol and diesel prices if payment is made through digital means

- Two Point of Sale (PoS) machines to be made available to every village with a population of over 10,000 (1 lakh villages to be identified)

- Discount of 0.5 per cent on monthly seasonal railway tickets in case of digital payments (Mumbai Suburban rail will introduce this measure from 1 January 2017)

- Rail passengers who buy tickets online to get an insurance cover of Rs 10 lakh (58 per cent passengers already pay online)

- Discount of 5 per cent on railway facilities if payment is made through digital means

- Discount of 10 per cent by General Insurance Corporation and 8 per cent by Life Insurance Corporation on new insurance policy bought digitally from state insurers

- No levy on digital payments made to any central government institution or public sector unit

- Regional Rural Banks and co-operative banks will be supported through NABARD to issue Rupay Kisan Cards to 4.32 crore Kisan Credit Card holders

- Discount of 10 per cent on RFID and FASTag procured through digital payments at toll plazas across all national highways

These measures, Jaitley said, will be implemented right away, and no end date has been stipulated for their implementation.

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