Demonetization is an astounding decision that has taken our nation by storm. The repercussions of the move have engendered mixed reactions from different sections of the society. However, the only consequence that every citizen is embracing is our endeavor towards a cashless economy.
Government of India is taking numerous steps to shift our economy from a cash based economy to cashless economy. In one such move, TRAI has propounded an idea to offer 100MB free data per month to rural subscribers. The cost (approx 600 crores) incurred for the scheme will be reportedly issued from USOF (Universal Service Obligation Fund).
TRAI said in a statement that, “In order to bridge the affordability gap for the persons residing in rural areas and to support government’s efforts towards cashless economy by incentivising digital means, the Authority recommends that a scheme under which a reasonable amount of data say 100 MB per month may be made available to rural subscribers for free,”
It also recommended that the aggregators providing free data service will need to register with the Department of Telecom and it should be a company registered under Indian Companies Act, 1956.
What is USOF?
According to the organisation official website, their vision is Enabling rural Indians to achieve their fullest potential and participate productively in the development of the nation by virtue of being effectively connected through a reliable and ubiquitous telecommunications network, access to which is within their reach and within their means.
What If it is Implemented?
The most affected people due to demonetization are people living semi urban and rural areas. They hardly have access to internet and even if it is available, most of them cannot afford it. Thus, this move will be a game changer, as it encourages people in these areas to prefer e-payments.
What can Government also do?
Government should also partner with OEMs to subsidize the cost of smartphones in the rural areas so that everyone can use this incentive. Otherwise, it will end up as a half-baked attempt.
Let us in the comments section what are your thoughts on the move.