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Government developing common portal for financial products and schemes: DFS Additional Secretary

Citizens may be able to access all financial products, benefits, and schemes through a single portal.

The Indian government is working towards developing a common national portal which would host various government schemes and benefits, protection products — all accessible through a single click, said Sanjeev Kaushik, the Additional Secretary in the Department of Financial Services.

The Department of Financial Services has been working on a national common portal for various government schemes and benefits in which through just one single portal, the citizens can access different financial products, different protection products of insurance companies and different benefit schemes by a single click of the button — Sanjeev Kaushik, Additional Secretary in Ministry of Finance’s Department of Financial Services

Kaushik who was speaking on “Leveraging Digital Power for Promoting Financial Inclusion)” at the 3rd Economic Times BFSI (ETBFSI) Conclave also said that at a later stage, the government will roll out digital loans. “Not just collateral based, but cash-based loans as well as savings products will be hosted on that single national platform,” Kaushik said.

Fintech playing important role in developments: Kaushik

The Additional Secretary said that fintech players have been providing the government with analytics and tools through with the former has been able to push various financial products through digital platforms.

Apart from its help in the development of the common portal for financial schemes, Kaushik added that fintechs are also working with Finance Ministry in the Aspirational Districts programme, Project Kashi (cash-over-internet).

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For Project Kashi, he added, the government has started a pilot project in Varanasi, where it is linking account holders with various options for online fixed deposits recurring deposits, and goal-linked savings schemes.

Cash on the internet: Kaushik said that the government wants to form a risk-based assessment of the cash flows into accounts of beneficiaries who are receiving DBTs from the government through different schemes.

“If you form an estimate of what the inflows and outflows are, then various providers of funding banks and financial institutions are able to tailor and offer loans, small-ticket loans, maybe Rs 20-25,000 online through digital platforms to these accounts,” Kaushik said.

‘Want to increase UPI transactions by 10x in 3 years’

“In the year 2021, more than 2.25 lakhs crore were done by through digital platforms and payment services for a value of more than 41 lakh crore rupees. As per UPI is concerned we have touched a number of 200 crore transactions per month, in June this year. The amount we reached was as much as Rs 5 lakh crore in June. Our target is to touch 10 times the number in the next 3 years.” Kaushik said.

Apart from that, Kaushik said, in 2013 only 30% of adults across the country had access to bank accounts and financial services. According to a World Bank report in 2017-18, India’s financial inclusion, measured by the number of adult bank accounts, reached more than 70%.

“In a short span of less than five years, we’ve actually more than doubled the financial inclusion parameters including access to banking services across the country,” Kaushik said.

UPI Transaction up by 2.1x in July 2021: NPCI Data

The transaction value on the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) stood at Rs 6.06 lakh crores in July 2021, up by 2.1x compared to the same month in the previous year, according to data released by the National Payments Corporation of India (NCPI). Overall, transaction volumes increased by 2.2 times over the last year to 3.24 billion in July. While UPI payment volumes grew by 15.4% in July 2021 over the previous month, the UPI transaction value went up by 10.8% compared to June.

Increase over June: The number of transactions increased by 432.5 million in July, whereas the total amount transacted went up by Rs 58,907.8 crores. In the previous month (June 2021), the volume of transactions had increased by 267.9 million and the amount transacted grew by Rs 56,734.5 crores.

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Among other subjects, I cover the increasing usage of emerging technologies, especially for surveillance in India

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