The government has proposed a policy to make Electronic Transactions more attractive. In the proposal, they say a number of things that sound like music to my ears. It’s just a proposal, of course.
You typically stand in line to buy a railway ticket, but pay a fee to buy the ticket online. You pay a fee to the bank to get petrol at a pump. This obviously is a pain, so many people choose to stand in line instead of paying that 1% extra.
Utility service providers too (BESCOM for example in Bangalore) charge an extra fee to pay online. Even through a debit card. I have no idea why.
This might just go away. The proposal says get it will “examine” the feasibility of removing the charges.
On another note: What is the point of saying you will examine the feasibility of removing charges? Huh? So examine it already and tell us you’re removing it, or you’re not. This is utter bullshit to tell us that you will examine something. Waste of time, patience and my blood pressure. Anyways.
Further there’s a PayGov India platform, an API based portal that all government departments can integrate with to receive payments. So no negotiating with banks etc.
The proposal says merchants for whom 50% of transactions or more are electronic, a tax rebate or a reduction in VAT could be applicable. This is cool, though it’s not exactly something very interesting. Why? Because many establishments will simply not give you a bill (or give you only a handwritten bill) for cash payments, and still take advantage of this system. More than 50% of their receipts will be electronic because they’re not declaring the cash receipts!
In what must be fairly alarming to the finance ministry, even consumers could get a tax rebate if they pay a large portion of their expenditure electronically. I’m not sure how they figure out your total spend, though. Will you have to add up your ATM withdrawals and prove that X% of your spend was electronic? What if you used cheques?
We need this kind of bill. The I would encourage you to provide your feedback at: This page on mygov.in.
I’ll present a longer, more detailed response in a while. I like the concept and the goal, but I think a response belongs in its own post, so that I can point to it in my page response. (Needs charts etc.)