Nilekani new member to the cashless committee


New Delhi:  Nandan Nilekani has been another new member to the expert panel constituted by Niti Aayog and the government to take the demonetisation exercise further and give a push for electronic transactions across India. He has been seen to actively support the demonetisation move by the Prime Minister.

Prime Minister with a mission to promote a cashless society has appointed a 13-member committee of Chief Ministers headed by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu to bring transparency, financial inclusion and prepare a road map in this regard.

The panel would create a road map for increased adoption of e-payment platforms, including mobile wallets, credit cards, debit cards, internet banking and United Payments Interface (UPI). The panel having chief ministers from five states, political leaders, as well as experts from the industry, and lead by Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu, the government picking Nilekani for the panel comes as a surprise. Nilekani had contested the 2014 Lok Sabha Elections with a Congress ticket.

Nilekani is an electrical engineer who studied at Indian Institute of Technology Bombay and went on to become one of the six co-founders of Infosys. He gave up his position as Chairman at Infosys to become chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), after the then prime minister Manmohan Singh invited him to do so. He was also a part the face of the UPA government’s “Adhaar” program.

Around 86 percent of currency notes have lost its legal status after the demonetization of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes. The people in the country are still suffering from cash scarceness. As such the government along with Nilekani and thirteen other members of the team would work out on ‘Plan-B’ of the government which focuses towards cashless transaction in the society.

The panel would work towards increasing awareness of e-transactions among general public, and would come up with ways to publicize advantages of going cashless. During his first meeting with the committee, he said that when India is aiming towards digital financial architecture, plan should be worked out to get more Indians to adopt digital payments, via everything from their own smart phones to point-of-sale machines in villages.

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