15/12/2016 5:46 PM IST | Updated 15/12/2016 6:02 PM IST

Govt Announces 'Christmas Present' For Digital Payments, Prizes Upto ₹340 Crore

The first draw will happen on 25 December and the mega draw on 14 April, the birth anniversary of B R Ambedkar.

Hindustan Times via Getty Images

NEW DELHI -- To promote digital payments post demonetisation, the government will give daily, weekly and mega cash awards totalling ₹340 crore for consumers as well as merchants beginning the Christmas Day.

Announcing 'Lucky Grahak Yojana' and 'Digi Dhan Vyapar Yojana', Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said both the schemes will cover small transactions between ₹50 and ₹3,000 to encourage every section of the society to move to digital payments.

Terming it a 'Christmas Gift' to the country, Kant said the first draw will happen on 25 December and the mega draw on 14 April, the birth anniversary of B R Ambedkar.

National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI) will announce 15,000 winners of ₹1,000 each for next 100 days, starting 25 December. There will be 7,000 weekly awards each for consumers and merchants.

"Focus of Lucky Grahak and Digi-Dhan Yojana is on poor, middle class and small businesses so as to bring them into digital payments revolution," said the Niti Aayog CEO.

As per estimates, only 5 percent Indians use digital payment modes.

For consumers, there will mega awards of ₹1 crore, ₹50 lakh and ₹25 lakh. In case of merchants, it has been fixed at ₹50 lakh, ₹25 lakh and ₹5 lakh.

Estimated expenditure of the scheme to incentivise digital payments is ₹340 crore, Kant said.

Giving details on digital transactions post demonetisation of old ₹500/1000 notes, he said PoS transactions witnessed a jump of 95 percent since 8 November (till 7 December).

RuPay Card transactions were up 316 per cent and e-wallet 271 percent, while both UPI about and USSD witnessed increase of about 1,200 per cent each.

All forms of transactions through UPI, USSD, Aadhar Enabled Payment System (AEPS) and RuPay cards will be eligible for lucky draws.

Niti Aayog also said the scheme is not applicable for transactions done through private credit cards and e-wallets of private companies.

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