People being trained for digital payments: Minister

New Delhi, Dec 16 (IANS) Law and Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Friday said a large number of people are being trained across the country to make digital payments popular and acceptable.

“There are two lakh Common Service Centres (CSC) across the country and they will train and prepare thousands of people for digital payments,” he told reporters here.

Saying that over 99 per cent adults have ‘Aadhaar’ identity, the minister said a large number of bank accounts are also linked with Aadhaar card system and this could be used to make online payments.

“It’s a very simple system and would help people in villages who do have smart mobile phones in making their payments at various shops in their villages,” he said.

Congratulating the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Prasad said it was dong a “good job” in educating and training people in this regard.

“We will work with the Finance Ministry to take it forward,” he said, showing how the number of “trained people” was going up every minute as various agencies, including Software Technology Parks of India, National Institute of Electronics and IT, were busy training people across the nation.

Prasad said workshops for individual and shopkeepers were being organised and youths were being especially involved in the process.

He also said workshops to train village-level entrepreneurs and others would be held in 500 districts and 14 lakh people trained soon.

The minister said the logo of ‘Meri Dukaan, Digital Dukaan’ (my shop accepts digital payments) will also be given to shopkeepers in villages so people could easily identify which shop was ready to accept online payments.

Prasad said that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MPs were also asked to get involved with the government’s e-payment initiative.

The government has been under severe criticism by the opposition after Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes were demonetised. People are facing massive cash shortage.

Push for digital payments followed the central government’s November 8 demonetisation decision.