New Delhi, Apr 4 (PTI) Putting a premium on the need to develop better broadband infrastructure, a top government official today said work is on to connect 1.5 lakh more gram panchayats with Internet in 18 months.
Secretary in the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) Ramesh Abhishek said that in the last one year, almost 80,000 panchayats have already been provided with broadband connectivity under BharatNet programme.
Development of strong digital infrastructure, according to him, is critical as the government is looking at promoting digital transactions, transparency in the system and financial inclusion.
“We need a much better broadband infrastructure. We have 2,50,000 gram panchayats and under the BharatNet programme, all these are being connected,” he said here.
He was speaking at a function jointly organised by Ficci and the International Chamber of Commerce.
The secretary listed out benefits of digitisation as it is key to providing people access to government services, developing smart manufacturing and improving ease of doing business.
On foreign investment, he said India received USD 55.6 billion FDI last year due to the reform measures announced by the government and “this year we have exceeded that”.
To a question on stakeholder consultation, Abhishek said a minimum of four weeks should be given for taking public comments and views.
Speaking at the same event, Additional Secretary in Niti Aayog Yaduvendra Mathur said the target is that by December, “at least 30 billion digital payments a month is what we have to report back and this is happening”.
“Everyday, one city in India is being visited by teams of professionals and there is hand-holding and facilitation for the common man to actually experience the digital transaction,” he said.
The government launched two schemes – Lucky Grahak Yojana and Digi-dhan Vyapar Yojana – on December 25 last year to give a boost to digital transactions.
Under the schemes, every day 15,000 daily winners vie for total prize money of Rs 1.5 crore.
The last day for this 100-day campaign is April 14 and on the same day in Nagpur, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will announce the winner of mega draw of Rs 1 crore.
He said these steps will help encourage digital payments because these are the people who never used digital processes or mobiles for making payments.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.