The successful implementation of digital payment systems in India has proved the naysayers wrong, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said.
Speaking on ’20 years of Modi governance’ before a gathering of BJP workers on Wednesday, she credited Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s approach to governance and his trust in people for this success. During the lockdown induced by the Covid-19 pandemic, people received money in their bank accounts just by pressing a button, she said. “If they could not go to the bank or did not know how to take it, the bank Mitra went to the village and delivered their money,” she said.
During the same period some “advanced economies” were writing (aid) checks, putting them in an envelope and sending them to people through the post, she noted. Several doubts were raised about how electronic payments would work, especially in rural areas where Internet connectivity is patchy, but now “in spite of Covid India leads the world in UPI payments,” said the minister. It was Modi’s approach to governance which starts with “trust our people, trust our industry, trust our women and trust our families,” that made the difference, Sitharaman said.
A few years ago, a UPA minister had said it was impossible to popularise electronic payments as “how would one pay Rs 7 to a vegetable vendor electronically,” she said. This doubt has been dispelled now, she added.