Amitabh Kant Current Affairs

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Union Government constitutes Amitabh Kant Committee to push cashless transactions

The Union Government has constituted a new committee to form a strategy to expedite the process of transforming India into a cashless economy.

The committee will be headed by Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant. It has been tasked with identifying various bottlenecks affecting access of digital payments.

Terms of Reference of Committee

  • Identify and operationalise in the earliest possible time frame user-friendly digital payment options in all sectors of the economy.
  • Identify various digital payment systems appropriate to different sectors of the economy and coordinate efforts to make them accessible.
  • Engage regularly with Central ministries, state governments, regulators, local bodies, district administration, trade and industry associations to promote adoption of digital payment systems.
  • Estimate costs involved in various digital payments options and oversee implementation of measures to make such transactions between citizens and government cheaper than cash transactions.
  • Implement an action plan on advocacy, awareness and hand-holding efforts among public-, micro-enterprises and other stakeholders.

Background

The committee was set up following a directive from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) to back up the demonetisation move. The Union Government is working towards moving all government transactions to the cashless mode, through a new single window e-payment system that businesses or individuals can use to make payments to any central or state department.

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Union Government constitutes Amitabh Kant committee to review e-commerce rules

The Union Government has decided to set up a committee to look at easing the policy regime for e-commerce players, including the rules for foreign direct investment (FDI).

The committee will be headed by Amitabh Kant, CEO of NITI (National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog.

The other members in the panel will include officials from Union Commerce Ministry and Industry and Department of electronics and IT among others. Representatives from four states including Maharashtra and Karnataka will also be the members of the committee.

The terms of reference of the Committee

  • Examine various issues in e-commerce sector and making recommendations for further liberalisation of the policy.
  • Look into all issues including FDI norms pertaining to the fast growing e-commerce industry in the country.

There are issues related to e-commerce players selling pharmaceuticals and some e-commerce firms are facing taxation related problems in few states.

Setting up of this committee assumes significance as the Union Government recently had permitted 100 per cent FDI in food processing sector.  \The DIPP (Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion) has permitted 100 per cent FDI through automatic route in the marketplace format. But FDI has not been allowed in inventory-based model of e-commerce.

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