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RBI includes PM Vishwakarma under PIDF scheme

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has extended the Payments Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF) scheme for an additional two years, now effective until December 31, 2025. This initiative aims to stimulate the deployment of payment acceptance infrastructure in various regions.

Targeted Beneficiaries Expansion

1. Inclusion of PM Vishwakarma Scheme Beneficiaries

  • The PIDF scheme’s scope is broadened to include beneficiaries of the PM Vishwakarma scheme.
  • This strategic decision is anticipated to bolster the RBI’s efforts in fostering digital transactions at the grassroots level.

2. Previous Beneficiary Inclusions

  • The PIDF Scheme, initiated in January 2021, initially focused on tier-3 to tier-6 centres, north-eastern states, and Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh.
  • In August 2021, beneficiaries of the PM SVANidhi Scheme in Tier-1 and 2 centres were incorporated.

Deployment Progress

3. Deployment Statistics

  • As of August 2023, the PIDF scheme has facilitated the deployment of over 2.66 crore new touch-points under its framework.
  • This underscores the program’s success in incentivizing the establishment of payment acceptance infrastructure.

Future Focus: Emerging Payment Modes

4. Encouraging Innovation:

  • Based on industry feedback, the PIDF scheme is set to encourage the adoption of emerging modes of payment acceptance.
  • This includes the deployment of technologies such as soundbox devices and Aadhaar-enabled biometric devices.

5. Accelerating Financial Inclusion:

  • The move aligns with the industry’s evolving needs and emphasizes the RBI’s commitment to enhancing the digital payments ecosystem.
  • Financial inclusion and support to artisans and craftspeople are highlighted as crucial aspects of this extended initiative.

Industry Response

6. Positive Industry Feedback:

  • Industry experts, exemplified by Rajsri Rengan, India Head of Development, Banking and Payments at FIS, commend the RBI’s proactive stance in fortifying the digital payments ecosystem.
  • The extended PIDF scheme is seen as a strategic measure to address the dynamic requirements of the industry, contributing to financial inclusion and providing essential support to various sectors.

Important Questions Related to Exams

Q1: What is the key update in the RBI’s PIDF scheme extension?

A: The RBI extended the PIDF scheme until December 2025, now encompassing beneficiaries of the PM Vishwakarma scheme, further enhancing efforts to promote digital transactions at the grassroots level.

Q2: What are the significant achievements of the PIDF scheme so far?

A: As of August 2023, the PIDF scheme has successfully deployed over 2.66 crore new touch-points, demonstrating its effectiveness in incentivizing the establishment of payment acceptance infrastructure.

Q3: How does the RBI plan to evolve the PIDF scheme?

A: The PIDF scheme will now focus on encouraging the adoption of emerging payment modes, such as soundbox devices and Aadhaar-enabled biometric devices, based on industry feedback to accelerate and augment payment acceptance infrastructure deployment.

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