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Nobody in the Finance Ministry knows how much was spent to promote UPI, Rupay?

MediaNama filed an RTI asking about the Finance Ministry’s expenditure on the promotion of UPI and RuPay which was forwarded to RBI, but to no avail

The Ministry of Finance and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) don’t seem to know how much has been spent so far on incentive schemes and other initiatives to promote Unified Payments Interface (UPI) and Rupay. MediaNama had filed a Right to Information (RTI) request with the Ministry of Finance asking “how much the Ministry of Finance has spent on the promotion of NPCI UPI and RuPay including the amount spent on incentive schemes since 2016.” The Ministry forwarded the request to the RBI, who got back to us saying it “does not have the information in this regard.” We filed an appeal to the RBI’s response and asked the central bank to forward the request to the concerned authority if it doesn’t have the relevant information. The First Appellate Authority dismissed our appeal reiterating that the RBI does not have the desired information. Why does this matter: One of the biggest reasons why UPI is ubiquitous in India is because merchants aren’t charged any fee for accepting UPI payments, unlike the Merchant Discount Rate (MDR) they are charged for accepting other digital payments like debit and credit cards. Although UPI is operated by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), a Section-8 non-profit company, the Indian government, mainly through the Ministry of Finance, the RBI, and the IT Ministry, has over the years launched various programs and initiatives to promote UPI and Rupay, including amending regulations to its favor. UPI is currently free for merchants because the government notified…

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