Building Digital Infrastructure for Economic Growth and “Make in India “initiative
India is one of the fastest growing major economies and is currently ranked as the world’s 6th
largest economy. India is bestowed with a “youth bulge” – by 2020, the average age in India
will be 29 years. According to DPIIT (earlier DIPP) report, India’s potential to achieve a
USD 5 Trillion GDP by 2024-25 is within the realm of possibility.
By Thyagarajan Seshadri
Building Digital Infrastructure
Utilising the transformative power of technology and building digital infrastructure can be a
critical breakthrough for the Indian economy.
The banking sector in India is an extremely dynamic one and Digital infrastructure can
provide solutions at a reasonable scale. India has launched numerous initiatives such as
Aadhaar, Unified Payment Interface (UPI), Rupay, payments bank and India Stack.
In over three years, over 270 million bank accounts were opened, with $10 billion in
deposits. Then, RuPay came along, to increase digital financial adoption in the country with
its flat processing fees.
With the rising smartphone penetration in the country, has boosted the online payments
sphere to unprecedented levels. As per a recent study, the Indian digital payments industry
will touch $500 billion by 2020, contributing 15 per cent to the country’s GDP. This digital
footprint has helped in regulating the economy by making transactions faster and more
The government is actively encouraging the use of the RuPay. Rupay should be established
as a common Brand, for all Retail Delivery Channels across Public Sector and Private Sector
Banks as well as the IndiaPost and other Payment Banks.
Funds from the Financial Inclusion Fund and Acceptance Development Infrastructure Fund
should be utilised to drive adoption and create building a sustainable Digital Infrastructure
How Digital Inclusion will Drive Make in India
The launching of ‘Make in India’ initiative seeks to facilitate job creation, foster innovation,
enhance skill development and protect intellectual property. Public Procurement of ‘Make in
India’ products/services should be included in the Industrial Policy, by Department for
Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT).
Public Sector Enterprises and Public Sector Banks should also adhere to ‘Make in India’ in
their Public Procurement Policy. This will build a focus on the social and economic
development of the country with the support of the corporate sector.
Request for proposals (RFPs) should be floated only through the Government E-marketplace
(GeM) platform , providing impetus, growth and fulfilling Govt’s mandate of “ Make in India
“ activities and implemented through SPV, for faster, seamless execution of Digital
Ease of Doing Business:
The Government should take steps to eliminate archaic, arbitrary and restrictive clauses, in
Eligibility Conditions in the Qualifying Criteria in the Request for Proposals (RFPs)/Tender,
for all Public Sector Banks and pave way for ease of Doing Business.
Request for Proposals for the common or standard procurement Items; including ATM, CD,
CDM and Cash recycler machines, should do away with the clauses that often make it
impossible for home grown, domestic Indian Companies, to compete with the larger
Competition drives excellence; however, this competition can often be unfairly skewed to
one side. Multinational companies usually wield more capital and power than their Indian
counterparts. This often leads to them driving out the home grown competition.
Concerned ministries should ensure that there is a level playing field, along with a fair and
transparent bidding process for home grown/domestic companies. Common Eligibility or
Qualifying criteria for all companies should be enacted through Policy guidelines.
Building Digital Infrastructure through a Special Purpose Vehicle will drive faster
implementation and digital inclusion among the public, which in turn will drive the success
rates of financial inclusion/p>
“India’s digital story is a story of hope and growth; Above all, it is a story of digital inclusion
Need of the Hour:
Cash recyclers, the disruptive technology that brings Cash back into the Banking System.
Next set of revolution is already taking place giving way to Cash recyclers, which double up,
as Cash dispensers and Cash acceptors / deposits.
Retail Consumers find it more attractive and convenient to deposit cash collected at the end
of day, at the Cash recyclers wherein the consumer account is instantly, credited online, real
time; With Inter operable Cash recyclers, this disruptive technology is the need of the hour
to curtail Cash in the open market, which is a devil for the Economy.
Consumers feel safe and secure to deposit cash in Banks through Cash Recyclers; Less Cash
printing is required, as cash deposited in recyclers are recycled for Cash dispensation
requirements as well, with no Cost to Govt. for printing of Cash. Cash back into the Banking
system is boon for the Economy.
China has close to 10,00,000 machines that cater to their Consumers, while India has only
about 220,000 machines, which shows poor light of infrastructure available in Semi Urban
and Rural India.
Parting Note: “Jan Dhan to Jan Suraksha“
India is a vast country with growing economy; Policy makers have enormous scope and
power to get the retail Cash, floating out in the market place, back into the Banking system.
Govt. of India, is Capitalising the Banks and it is ideal that Banks outsource through Service
Providers, these disruptive technologies, to deploy more than 200,000 Cash recyclers, by
replacing of Bank’s own 100,000 ATMs also at 100,000 IndiaPost payment Banks branches,
100,000 Common Service centres, Village Panchayat Offices, DBT Districts and branches,
Ayushman Bharat Health care and Well ness centres, through Common Procurement
programme, on GeM platform, by a SPV.
The Ministry of Finance initiative on Financial Inclusion in year 2012, paved way for Jan
Dhan Yojana by deploying ATMs in Semi Urban and Rural Districts, DBT districts and the
need of hour is to implement the Cash Recyclers through Mission mode, making way from
Jan Dhan to Jan Suraksha and creating inclusive Digital infrastructure in the Country.