Businessmen using digital payments will get I-T benefits, says Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Photo: PTI
In his monthly 'Mann Ki Baat' radio address to the nation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said businessmen using digital payments would receive income-tax benefits. He also stressed that cashless transactions had increased by 200-300 per cent in the past few days. 

"Businessmen who make use of digital payments will receive Income Tax benefits," Modi said, adding: "Today, there is a curiosity among people as to how one can go cashless. People want to learn from each other." 

NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant had recently announced that the government was launching the 'Lucky Grahak Yojana' for consumers and  'Digi Dhan Vyapar Yojana' for small traders. 

Under the Lucky Grahak Yojana, which started on Sunday, 15,000 winners will be eligible for a daily prize of Rs 1,000 each for the next 100 days. A weekly award for around 7,000 consumers eligible for a maximum prize of Rs 1 lakh was also announced.

Under the Digi-Dhan Vyapari Yojana, more than 7,000 merchants will be eligible for Rs 50,000 prize every week.  "Digi-Dhan Vyapar Yojana is mainly for businessmen; they must encourage cashless transactions," Modi said, adding: "You will be surprised to know that 300 million people in India have RuPay cards, and 200 million of them belong to poor families."

"In the past few days, cashless transactions across the country have increased by 200-300 per cent," the prime minister said. 

Modi also appreciated the slew of measures taken by the Assam government to encourage digital payments, including  0.75 per cent discount on petrol and diesel besides the 0.75 per cent discount announced earlier by oil PSUs, 10 per cent discounts on user charges above Rs 500 bills in hospitals. 

Modi asserted that the informal sector and start-ups would largely benefit from the government's drive to take India towards a cashless system. " The informal sector is very significant in our country. Workers mostly receive salaries and wages in cash and are often even exploited," the prime minister said. 

"This digital movement is a golden opportunity for the youth and start-ups. They can open new avenues through it," Modi added.

He also ensured that the government would continue to change rules and take other steps to fight corruption. "I assure you that this is not the end, this is just the beginning of our fight against corruption," he said, adding: "Black money hoarders are being nabbed across the country. The secret is that information by common people enables us to do it."

After Finance Minister Arun Jaitley recently clarified that political parties would not be exempt from tax glare on bank deposits after the government's move to demonetise high-value currency notes, Modi on Sunday said: "People are spreading rumours that political parties are exempted, this isn’t true." 

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