In its relentless efforts to promote cashless transactions post demonetisation, on 15 December, the government announced that it will give away daily, weekly, and mega cash awards totalling an amount of Rs 340 crore to consumers as well as merchants, 25 December onwards.
Announcing 'Lucky Grahak Yojana' and 'Digi Dhan Vyapar Yojana', Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said both the schemes will cover small transactions between Rs 50 and Rs 3,000 to encourage every section of the society to move to digital payments. Terming it a 'Christmas Gift' to the country, Kant said the first draw will happen on 25 December and the mega draw on 14 April the birth anniversary of B R Ambedkar.
National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI) will announce 15,000 winners of Rs 1,000 each for next 100 days, starting 25 December. There will be 7,000 weekly awards each for consumers and merchants. "The focus of Lucky Grahak and Digi-Dhan Yojana is on poor, middle class and small businesses so as to bring them into digital payments revolution," said the Niti Aayog CEO.
As per estimates, only 5% Indians use digital payment modes.
For consumers, there will mega awards of Rs 1 crore, Rs 50 lakh and Rs 25 lakh. In case of merchants, it has been fixed at Rs 50 lakh, Rs 25 lakh and Rs 5 lakh. The estimated expenditure of the scheme to incentivise digital payments is Rs 340 crore, Kant said.
Giving details on digital transactions post demonetisation of old Rs 500/1000 notes, he said PoS transactions witnessed a jump of 95% since 8 November (to 7 December).
RuPay Card transactions were up 316% and e-wallet 271%, while both UPI about and USSD witnessed an increase of about 1,200% each. All forms of transactions through UPI, USSD, Aadhar Enabled Payment System (AEPS) and RuPay cards will be eligible for lucky draws. Niti Aayog also said the scheme is not applicable for transactions done through private credit cards and e-wallets of private companies.