Ration shops in the country would be used for all banking transactions
AdvertisementYour neighbourhood ration shop where you see people queuing up for daily needs might soon transform into a banking transaction centre. Thanks to the centre’s initiative to turn all six lakh ration shops into business correspondents or bank mitras.
"Already around four lakh fair price shops have enrolled as business correspondents. Owning to their strategic location and high footfall, we are hopeful that they can emerge as focal points for all banking transactions, including remittances,” a government official, requesting anonymity, told The Economic Times.
"Unless interbank transactions increase, these fair price shops will not be able to serve their purpose. The idea is that the cardholder of any bank can walk into a ration shop and deposit or withdraw money”, another official, aware of the deliberations, told the ET.
A task force on the promotion of payments through cards and digital, set up under Department of Investment & Public Asset Management (DIPAM) secretary Neeraj Gupta, is also looking into the issue, the official quoted above added.
Aadhaar-Enabled Payment System (AEPS) will allow online financial transactions using Aadhar credentials. The government has already announced its plans to install electronic Point of Sale (ePoS) devices at all fair price shops across the country by March 2017 to plug leakages.
"The government intends to achieve a target of installing three lakh such devices to computerise fair price shops by March 2017. The aim is to fully computerise all 5.35 lakh fair price shops by March 2019 by installing such ePoS devices,” Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan told the Rajya Sabha recently.
According to latest government data, around 25 crore accounts have been opened under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) with balance of around Rs 44,480 crore. Of this, around 13 crore accounts have been seeded with Aadhaar and only 23% accounts have zero balance.
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