Fully committed to build a digital India, says Arun Jaitley

Jaitley also cautioned against excessive use of paper currency, which he termed as 'detriment to society'

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Published: January 12, 2017 7:54 pm
Arun Jaitley, Airtel Payments bank, Jaitley Airtel payments bank, Jaitley digital india, Arun Jaitley digital India Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs, Arun Jaitley launches Airtel Payments Bank, in New Delhi

Keeping with Narendra Modi-led BJP government’s idea of a digital India, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday launched the Airtel Payments Bank, which started national operations with services across 29 states in the country. Speaking on the occasion, Jaitley said that the government is fully committed to PM Modi’s call to build a digital India and lay a strong foundation for India’s transition to a cashless society. “We are fully committed to the Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s call to build a Digital India and lay a strong foundation for India’s transition to a cashless economy. Airtel Payments Bank will invest towards building a vast digital payments ecosystem with millions of merchants, and allow customers to make convenient cashless payments for good and services with their mobile phones.”

Jaitley also cautioned against excessive use of paper currency, which he termed as ‘detriment to society’, adding that it is advantageous for the country to move to less-cash economy. Chairman Bharti Enterprises Sunil Bharti Mittal said that Airtel has been at the forefront of India’s digital transformation and has empowered over 260 million customers with affordable telecom services. “With Airtel Payments Bank, we are starting another important chapter in our journey, with the potential to truly transform lives and contribute to financial inclusion in the country.”

On Wednesday, Jaitley had linked the Modi government’s decision to demonetise, with GST, when he said, “The impact of demonetisation— if I may diverge from the GST for a moment— can’t be delinked from this (GST). Excessive paper currency has its own vices… When we release data— we then realise the narrowness of the tax base itself. And once, this entire bearer currency which has anonymity and no history, moves back into the banking system, and is accompanied by a digitalised economy, which Prime Minister spoke about yesterday, it is going to a major step towards integration of informal economy — which at times was also a shadow economy — with the more formal economy. This itself is going to increase the transactions which are covered within the banking system. Transactions which may lead to higher revenue in the future, make us go complaint and gives us a cleaner and bigger economy.”

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