Bhubaneswar: The state government on Wednesday urged the Centre to improve telecom infrastructure, banking services and internet connectivity in rural areas for cashless transactions and digital payments in the state.
Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi represented Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at the Chief Minister’s Committee meeting on digital payments through video conferencing on Wednesday.Padhi said that banking infrastructure and internet connectivity in the state, more particularly in rural areas, should be improved substantially from the present level for effective implementation of digital payment system.
Finance Secretary Tuhin Kanta Pandey present during the meeting said that though the banks are connected with 3G/4G and high-speed broadband services for their card swiping machines, the internet speed is less than 100 kbps. As a result, people are facing problem to do transactions though swiping machines, micro ATMs and point of sale (PoS) devices.
About 60 per cent of the rural banking sub-service areas do not have adequate internet connectivity for supporting 3,900 Micro ATMs and mobile PoS machines. Further he said, the failure rate of Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) transaction on feature phones in rural areas has been reported to the extent of 60-75 per cent.
Similarly, banking presence in remote areas is also quite insufficient with nearly 4,401 Gram Panchayats of the total 6,802 not having any bank branches.