In significant push towards a less-cash economy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday announced starting a biometric payment system using Aadhar platform within two weeks even as he exhorted citizens to adopt digital currency from the new year.
After card payments and e-wallets, payments through the new system can be made by just a thumb impression after the bank account is linked with Aadhaar gateway, he said at a DigiDhan Mela, an event organised to celebrate the success of digital currency push.
Modi used wit and humour to take swipes at his political opponents for criticising demonetisation saying the drive was aimed at catching the “mouse” that eats away the nation’s wealth.
Though he did not name anyone, his comments were directed towards Opposition parties which have been criticizing the demonetisation move for yielding minuscule results in unearthing black money.
Scoring a political point, he said a new indigenously developed payment app ‘BHIM’ has been named after the main architect of Indian constitution, Bhim Rao Ambedkar.
BHIM (Bharat Interface for Money) is a mobile payment application and a re-branded version of UPI (Unified Payment Interface) and USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data) modes of e-payment.
A tribute to economist Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar, the BHIM App is very simple to use and doesn’t require internet connectivity mobile phones, PM Modi said.
“Dr Ambedkar’s mantra was to work for the upliftment of the poor. And the biggest power of technology is that it can empower the poor,” he added.
Calling it a “Christmas gift” to the public, Modi also felicitated the winners of the Lucky Grahak Yojana and DigiDhan Vyapar Yojana. Under these schemes, those who conduct digital payments of more than Rs 50 and less than Rs 3000 would be rewarded in a lucky-draw.
Over 100 days, several prizes of Rs 1,000 will be given to people through lucky draws. The mega draw will be held on April 14, the birth anniversary of Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar.
With inputs from agencies