BHIM has become one of the most popular mobile payment apps within days of launch, President Pranab Mukherjee said on Tuesday, exuding confidence that soon-to -be unveiled biometric Aadhaar payment system will usher in a “technological revolution” in India. “The launch of mobile app BHIM (Bharat Interface for Money) is a tribute to the vision of Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar who sought economic empowerment of the poorest. Within a few days it has become one of the most popular mobile app based payment mechanisms in the country,” Mukherjee said addressing the joint sitting of Parliament.
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The indigenously-developed BHIM was launched on December 30 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to enable fast and secure cashless transactions using mobile phones. It has already seen over 1.1 crore downloads by mid-January. “The biometric Aadhaar payment system to be launched soon will usher a technological revolution in India,” Mukherjee said. As many as 14 banks have already come on board for Aadhaar Pay, which will enable people to make and receive payments using their Aadhaar number and biometrics.
Besides, Digidhan Abhiyaan and two lakh Common Service Centres are providing employment to over five lakh youth, and spreading digital literacy. To take banking system to the doorstep of the poor, and the unbanked, Indian Postal Payment Bank has been started, he pointed out. “The postal network with wider reach and deep penetration of over 1.5 lakh post offices will also function as postal banks. Besides, the over 1 lakh bank-mitras appointed by banks, over 2.5 lakh Gram-Dak Sewaks will also function as banking correspondents,” he said.
The government, through the Stand-Up India initiative, plans to empower over 2.5 lakh Scheduled Castes, Schedule Tribes and women entrepreneurs. “For promoting entrepreneurship, the National SC/ST Hub has been launched with an initial allocation of Rs 490 crore,” he said. The President further said that the Bharat Net project, optical fibre cable now cover over 75,700 gram panchayats, up from only 59 in May 2014.
He said coal block and spectrum auctions illustrate the highest standards of transparency set by the Government in allocation of natural resources. To carry this forward, Government procurements have been brought under a single platform – Government eMarket Place (GeM), he observed. The government, he said, has approved North East BPO promotion scheme in the digital India programme for creation of employment opportunities.