Leh, December 09, 2021: To promote the Digital India Mission, the Finance Department, UT Ladakh in coordination with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) conducted the first-ever, one-day workshop on Digital Payments in Leh district.
Chief Guest of the event, the Chairman/CEC, LAHDC Leh, Adv. Tashi Gyalson stated that the Covid-19 pandemic has made us realise the importance of shifting towards cashless/digital mode of transactions in our day to day lives. He added that this step will not only ease our lives, but it will help us grow faster with the rest of the world in terms of digitalization. He further added that the rural sector of the Union Territory of Ladakh needs to get more educated on this system so that the entire UT of Ladakh can actively get involved.
Terming digital mode of the payment system as an effective method, CEC Gyalson quoted “I have learned from a report in which it has mentioned that, amid Covid, India was home to the highest number of real-time online transactions in 2020 ahead of countries such as China and the US”. He extended gratitude to the Prime Minister of India for empowering the citizens digitally through the Digital India initiative. He also stressed the need for implementing initiatives such as the National Common Mobility Card (NCMC) – One Nation, One Card system in Ladakh as well. He also appreciated the steps taken by the Administration of UT Ladakh for initiating digital mode of transactions for executing major projects in the UT of Ladakh.
Advisor Ladakh, Umang Narula thanked the officers of the Finance Department, UT Ladakh for making possible the 1st workshop on Digital Payments and NPCI officers and others who participated in the workshop. He added that the lack of internet connectivity in far-off places could be a factor in the lack of digital payment methods and acceptance in Ladakh. Advisor Ladakh stressed on understanding the constraints in accepting digital payments in Ladakh and the need to encourage it in different sectors. He shared that digital payment should be promoted in the government sector as well. He highlighted the need for awareness and a well-planned strategy for promoting digital payments in the region.
Speaking on the occasion, Commissioner Secretary GAD, Ajeet Kumar Sahu, said it was ‘Collective Imagination’ that took the human race on a path of development. He added that in this ‘Collective Imagination’ it was money which was the most revolutionary imagination and ever since, this revolution has been continuously growing around the world. He said, today we’ve reached a point where the world is doing transactions through digital payments which in itself is a revolution and it’s up to us how fast we want to adapt to these changes. He added that Digital Payments makes life easier as it is reliable and also environmentally friendly. Commissioner Secretary concluded by urging the participants to do their bit in implementing this system, in UT Ladakh.
Reiterating the vision of the Lt Governor and the Advisor UT Ladakh, Secretary Information and Technology, Saugat Biswas said that they were endeavouring to bring about Digital Payments in UT Ladakh. He added that the IT Department is committed to helping the people of Ladakh move towards end-to-end digitization of the various government services that are provided to the people.
He informed that 14 government departments and various government services have been digitized so far in UT Ladakh. Secretary Biswas added that an e-voucher is a good way of Digital Payment which the UT Administration is looking forward to implementing. He believed that a lot could be gained from this One-Day Workshop and make Digital Payments a success in UT Ladakh.
Additional Secretary Finance, D.C. Rajathkumar in his address said that the Government of India as part of the Digital India campaign has been undertaking several measures in the country to create a digitally empowered economy.
Nodal Officer for UT Ladakh of NPCI, Vikas Sirohi shared that Ladakh is registering a growth of more than 100% in Digital Payments but emphasized on improving the statistics further. Emphasising the need and importance of digital payments for achieving the goal of Digital India, Vikas Sirohi urged the participants of the workshop, such as banks, commercial organisations to have an option of 100% cashless and contactless transaction at their end. He also stressed on organising awareness campaigns for encouraging and promoting digital payments among all which would benefit the economy, government and the citizens as well.
Vikas Sirohi spoke at length and interacted with participants about the various topics and products related to NPIC and digital payments, including Role and Responsibilities of State Government, BHIM UPI and uses, National Automated Clearing House (NACH) for Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) and Non- DBT payments, RuPay and National Common Mobility Card, e-Rupi, BHIM Aadhar Pay, National Electronic Toll Collection (FASTag).
Chief Offline Products, Operations & Technology NPCI, Giridhar GM, said National Payments Corporation of India’s main objective is digitization and added that it is important to move towards digitization as cash transactions have several disadvantages. He added that in the economic policy of the RBI there is a lot of focus on furthering digital payments.
The one-day workshop was attended by Chairman/ CEC LAHDC, Leh, Advocate Tashi Gyalson; Advisor UT Ladakh, Umang Narula; Comm Secy GAD, Ajeet Kumar Sahu; Secretary Information & Technology/ Div Comm, Saugat Biswas; Secretary Tourism, Mehboob Ali Khan; Additional Secretary Finance, D.C. Rajathkumar; Nodal officer, NPCL, Vikas Sarohi; Chief Offline products, operations & technology NPCL, G.M Giridhar; Deputy Director Finance, Stanzin Donsal; Officers of government departments; Representatives of various banks and Presidents of various associations.
This one-day workshop was organized as part of ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mohatsav’ celebration. The Government of India aims to create a digitally empowered economy that is faceless, paperless and cashless.