Digitisation is aimed at bringing accountability, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi while emphasizing that India could not lag behind in the “digital currency era”. Addressing a gathering in Karnataka, he also took on the critics of government’s push for digital transactions.
“Now an era of digital currency has started, and India should not lag behind,” Modi said at a rally near Mangaluru.
The prime minister also hit out at his critics and political opponents who have been skeptical of digital transactions.
“Last November, December and January, stalwarts made speeches in the Parliament. If you haven’t heard them, hear them. These stalwarts who see themselves as “Tees Maar Khan”, those who think themselves as the epitome of knowledge, used to say that in India there is poverty, lack of education, how can digital transaction work,” Modi said.
They also wondered how people could go cashless, he said.
At the rally, the Prime Minister also symbolically presented beneficiary with a RuPay card, an Indian version of a credit or debit card.
Under the project, run by the organisation managed by the Dharmadhikari (hereditary administrator) of Dharmastala, Veerendra Heggade, about 12 lakh Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana account holders would benefit from the RuPay card.
“Our mothers and sisters who live in villages, whether they are educated or not, have taken a pledge. Twelve lakh people have taken a pledge that they will transact their self-help group related business cashless; they will go with digital transaction, with RuPay card,” Modi said.
The Prime Minister also spoke of the government’s efforts at ensuring that every rupee from the Centre reached the intended beneficiary without any scope for leakage.
Highlighting the direct benefit transfer scheme, Modi said because of the government’s efforts, Rs 57,000 crore “going into someone’s hand illegally” had been stopped and the money was now reaching the right beneficiary.
Speaking on skill development, Modi said, “In this 21st century, developed counties of the world are also discussing skill development. It is regarded as a prime sector.”
Pointing out that India took pride for its demographic dividend of having 800 million people, or 65 per cent of its population, below the age of 35, he said skill development should not only be used for meeting basic needs such as food but also for ensuring that the dreams of the country were fulfilled.
(With inputs from PTI)