other panel members

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New Delhi: Even as masses across the country are struggling to access their own money deposited in banks, a 13-member panel led by Andhra Pradesh chief minister N.Mr Naidu gave this information during a press conference on Thursday evening, which was also attended by Niti Aayog vice chairman Arvind Panagariya and its CEO Amitabh Kant, who are also part of the 13-member panel. Chandrababu Naidu to promote digital payments, will be submitting an interim report to the PMO in a “couple of days”.

On poor penetration smart phones in rural areas, he claimed that this will improve with the banking correspondents being roped in to sensitise people about their usage. Interestingly, the panel also consists of Nandan Nilekani, the former UIDAI chief and member of the Opposition Congress party, as a special invitee who had unsuccessfully wholesale Clean Door Factory contested the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.Banking correspondents in rural India will be roped in to help spread awareness among rural masses about how cashless transactions are the way forward.Speaking to reporters, Mr Naidu when asked as to how will people take up cashless transactions once currency notes of 500 denomination will be floated in the system after December 15, he claimed that ‘some cash will be required’ even in a cashless economy. The move will push the digital transaction in a big way particularly in rural areas where penetration of smart phone and Internet is skewed. So in another 15-20 days, we will have a very new version of USSD with many strong and robust easy to handle features,” Mr Kant added..

Mr Kant said that a more user friendly and simple version of Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) used on feature mobile phones for making cashless payments will be rolled out in next 15 days.During their meeting with Mr Patel and other heads of PSU banks, the panel asked RBI to ensure distribution of POS machines in towns and villages, find ways to increase greater penetration of smart phones having Android software in rural India, and also promote Aadhar-enabled payments with the help of National Payments Commission.“NCPI is already working to make USSD (*99#) very simple, convenient, robust and to link it with UPI.Besides all this, the panel is also working out ways to achieve inter-operatibility of unified payment interface of various banks.Mr Naidu, who along with the other panel members had a discussion with RBI chief Urjit Patel and other bank heads in Mumbai on Thursday to explore ways of promoting cashless transactions across the country, said that the panel will meet again on December 9 and then submit its interim to the PMO in a “couple of days”.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had formed this panel on November 30 to encourage cashless transactions across the country. This will enable account holders to use their banks’ UPI with a subscribers of other banks’ UPI for making and receiving cashless payments.At present there are about 400 million feature mobile handset users in the country