Joining government’s initiative to encourage citizens to adopt cashless payments and a digital economy, Patanjali, which has more than 5,000 stores across India, will allow all purchases above Rs 50 to be made digitally.
“Only purchases below Rs 50 will have to be made via cash. Post demonetisation, instructions were issued to all store(s) that if a poor person does not have cash he/she should be given products on credit,” Economic Times quoted Acharya Balkrishna, Patanjali’s CEO and a close aide of Baba Ramdev, as sayings.
“The endeavour is to ensure that no poor person is denied any product for want of cash,” Acharya Balkrishna added.
According to reports, Baba Ramdev approached leading banks, including SBI, Axis Bank, ICICI and others, soon after PM Narendra Modi’s November 8 announcement of demonetisation, asking them to link up all Patanjali stores by Christmas to make things easier for customers by enabling them to pay for goods through cards, e-wallets and other digital means.
“From digital banking to payments through e-wallets, we want every digital facility available at our stores,” Balkrishna said.
On December 15, the NITI ayog announced that daily, weekly and mega awards up to Rs 1 crore for consumers and merchants who take to digital payments.
"We are launching 'Lucky Grahak Yojna' for consumers and 'Digi Dhan Vyapari Yojna' to encourage merchants to transition to digital payments," Amitabh Kant, CEO Niti Ayog, said.
The awards will be offered through two schemes - the Lucky Grahak Yohajana for consumers, and the Digi-dhan Vyapari Yojana for merchants.
“Under the Lucky Grahak Yojana, 15,000 winners will get Rs 1000 each every day starting on December 25 and ending on April 14 next year,” Amitabh Kant announced.
“In addition, there will be weekly awards for 7000 people, and the maximum prize is worth Rs 1 lakh,” he added.
“Under the Digi Dhan Vyapari Yojna, 7000 winning merchants will receive prizes worth up to Rs 50,000 every week, also within the same time frame,” NITI ayog CEO said, adding that on April 14, there would be mega awards worth Rs 1 crore, Rs 50 lakh and Rs 25 lakh, respectively, for consumers and Rs 50 Lakh, Rs 25 lakh and Rs 5 lakh for merchants.
All modes of digital payments - USSD, AEPS, UPI and RuPay Cards - will be eligible under the scheme. For merchants, transactions made on the POS machines installed at their locations would be considered.
Both schemes will cover small transactions between Rs.50 and Rs.3000 to encourage every section of the society to move to digital payments.
Earlier on December 8, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced a raft of measures including discounts on online payments for insurance policies, rail tickets and highway toll charges as the government looked to promote digital cash post demonetisation.