The government on Friday set up an eleven member panel headed by former finance secretary Ratan P Watal to suggest ways to promote electronic transactions through incentives such as tax rebates, cash back and lottery. Besides suggesting changes in the existing regulatory mechanism relating to digital transactions, the panel will recommend steps for leveraging unique identification number or other identify proofs for authenticating card and digital transactions.
It will examine setting up of a Centralised KYC (know-your-customer) registry. The panel will also study feasibility of creating a payments history of all card/digital payments and ensure that merchants/consumers can leverage the data to access “instant, low cost micro-credit” through digital means and create necessary linkage between the payment history and credit information, as per an order issued by the finance ministry on Friday.
The committee will study introduction of single window system of payment gateway to accept all types of cards/digital payments of government receipts and enable settlements via NPCI (National Payments Corporation of India) or other agencies within specified timelines.
Another task assigned to the panel is to identify regulatory bottlenecks and suggest changes.
It will also look into the scope of integration of all government systems like Public Finance Management System, PayGov, Bharatkosh and eKuber.
In February, the Union Cabinet had approved a proposal to withdraw surcharges, service charges and convenience fees on cards and digital payments that were being imposed by various government departments.
The Watal panel, which will submit its report in one year, will also study global best practices in payments and identify possible market failures, along with suitable interventions. The committee members include former RBI Deputy Governor H R Khan, Chairman of Indian Banks Association, President of Nasscom and CBDT Chairperson.