LAUNCHING A re-branded mobile application for the Unified Payments Interface (UPI), called Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM), Prime Minister Narendra Modi exhorted citizens to use digital modes of transaction, saying that a biometric payment system based on the Aadhaar platform would also be launched within two weeks. Speaking at the DigiDhan Mela Friday, Modi said that for this platform, one wouldn’t need a mobile phone or Internet connectivity, but only the thumbprint. He said that there was a time when people used to address an unschooled person as “angoothachaap”, but now that thumbprint can act as a person’s bank, his identity, and even run the business.
The indigenously developed mobile application — BHIM — has been named after Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar, Modi said, adding that, the Reserve Bank of India, and the concept of finance commission to distribute wealth between Centre and states, were the brainchildren of Ambedkar’s research. The app will facilitate retail banking operations such as transfer of money, checking balance, etc through UPI, which was developed by the National Payments Council of India.
“….aanewaale dino mein dekhna, ki saara karobar, jaise hum pehele note ya sikko se karte the, voh din door nahin hoga jab yeh saara kaarobar, is BHIM app ke dwara chalne wala hai. Yani ek prakar se Babasaheb Ambedkar ka naam saari arthvyvastha ke andar yeh BHIM app ke dwara centrestage mein aanewala hai (See that in the coming days, the whole business which we used to do in coins and notes, the time is not far away that all the business would be done through this BHIM app. It means that in one way, the name of Babasaheb Ambedkar would come to the centrestage of this economy through this BHIM app),” Modi said.
Hitting back at opponents of the government’s push to digital payments, the Prime Minister said that there is no cure available for these critics but thousands of opportunities for those with hope.
“Kabhi kabhi mein hairan hun, kuch log hote hain jinke dilon-dimaag mein nirasha se hi unka jeevan aarambh hota hai…unki subah bhi nirasha se hoti hai. Aise nirashawadi logon ke liye, abhi toh koi aushadh available nahi hai… lekin ashawadi logon ke liye mere paas hazaaron avsar hai (Sometimes I wonder, how some people’s heart and soul are filled with pessimism. Their lives and days start with pessimism. For those pessimists, I have no remedy available…but for optimists I have thousands of opportunities),” Modi said.
The Prime Minister said that certain politicians criticised the exercise of delegitimising high denomination currency notes by suggesting that the government broke a hill but only caught mice. He said that his government wanted to catch the mice who are stealing the hard-earned money of poor citizens.
“Ek neta ne bayaan diya, unhone kaha: ‘khoda dungar, aur nikali chuhia’. Bhai, mujhe chuhia hi nikalni thi. Wohi toh sab kha jaati hai chori-chupe se. Kisaan mehnat karke anaaj ka dher kare, do chuhia aa jaye sahab, sab khatam kar jati hai. Toh jis netaji ne joh kaha mein unka dhanyawaad karta hun ki kamsekam sach toh bole (One politician has given a statement, he said: you dug a hill, but found a mouse. Brother, I wanted to take out mice only. It is the one that eats everything secretly. Farmers are storing the grains after so much hard work; just two mice are enough to finish off the whole stock. So, I would like to thank the politician who said this as he at least spoke the truth),” Modi said.