The Union budget for the year 2017-18 has just been announced by the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. While there are many aspects to the announced budget, the key highlights seem to revolve around Narendra Modi-led central government's "Digital India" scheme.
Thus, the Budget that was announced takes into account Government's move from demonetization to cashless transactions. According to Jaitley, because of demonetization, the government has now become a trusted custodian of public money. Expressing his gratitude to the people for their strong support, he reiterated that, "The pace of demonetization has also picked up and will soon reach comfortable levels. The effects of demonetization are not expected to spill over to the next year." The Budget also includes a proposal to mandate all government receipts through digital means.
Arun Jaitley while disclosing the budget also talked about the BHIM digital payment app and AadharPay, which is an Aadhaar-enabled payment system that the government will launch soon. AadharPay will be a merchant version of the Aadhaar-enabled payment system and it will be for those without debit cards, mobile phones.
Jaitley has also stated that banks would be introducing additional 10 lakh Point-of-Sale terminals by March 17 for the purpose. Moreover, "Aadhar cards that will give the health condition of senior citizens will also be introduced," Jaitley added.
Jaitley also revealed that the BHIM App has already been adopted by almost 1.25 crore people. Following such success, the government according to the latest budget announcement will also introduce two new schemes for greater adoption of BHIM digital payment app.
Other highlights of the budget include a new exchange-traded fund (ETF) with diverse central PSUs to be launched in 2017-18 and withdrawal of service charge for e-booking of railway tickets through IRCTC.