Bhim UPI Rupay, State Cooperative Societies Seed Organic Exports: Key Cabinet Decisions

The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, took a host of important decisions on Wednesday. Among the decisions were an incentive scheme to promote digital transactions using indigenous platforms, new cooperatives to promote exports of organic products, and a new scheme for free ration distribution.

In a major push to push digital transactions using home-grown platforms, the Centre has approved a Rs 2,600-crore incentive scheme to promote Rupay debit card, BHIM UPI transactions, said Union Minister Bhupender Yadav. Under this scheme, acquiring banks will be provided financial incentives, for promoting point-of-sale (PoS) and e-commerce transactions using RuPay debit cards and low-value BHIM-UPI transactions (P2M) for the current financial year FY 2022-23.

The proposed incentive scheme aims to strengthen the digital payment infrastructure and increase usage of RuPay Debit Card and BHIM-UPI digital transactions. It aligns with the government’s objective of “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas” by also promoting economical and user-friendly options such as UPI Lite and UPI 123PAY, ultimately promoting digital payments adoption among various segments of the population.

The Cabinet on Wednesday also gave the green light to establish and promote a national level multistate cooperative export society under the Multi-State Cooperative Societies (MSCS) Act, 2002. This will be done with support from relevant ministries, specifically the Ministry of External Affairs and Department of Commerce, as well as the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, through their export-related policies, schemes, and agencies. This is being done by following the ‘Whole of Government Approach’ for exporting all goods and services produced by cooperatives and related entities.

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The proposed society aims to provide a boost to exports from the cooperative sector by serving as an umbrella organization for carrying out and promoting exports. This will help unlock the export potential of Indian cooperatives in global markets. Additionally, the proposed society will help cooperatives access the benefits of various export-related schemes and policies of different government ministries in a focused manner through the ‘Whole of Government Approach’. This will also help achieve the goal of ‘Sahakar-se-Samriddhi’ through the inclusive growth model of cooperatives, where members will benefit from the realization of better prices through exporting their goods and services, as well as from dividends distributed from the surplus generated by the society.

Higher exports through the proposed society will increase the production of goods and services by cooperatives at various levels, leading to more employment in the cooperative sector. Processing goods and enhancing services to meet international standards will also generate additional employment. Increased export of cooperative products will also promote ‘Make in India’ and lead to Atmanirbhar Bharat.

A national level multi state seed cooperative society will act as an apex organisation for production, procurement, processing, branding, labelling, packaging, storage, marketing and distribution of quality seeds; strategic research & development; and to develop a system for the preservation and promotion of indigenous natural seeds through various cooperative societies across the country, said Union minister Bhupender Yadav.

In another important decision, the National Food Security Act (NFSA) scheme for distributing free ration for a year until December 2023 has been officially named as the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana (PMGKAY) by the Central government. Beginning January 1, 2023, the Centre began distributing free ration to NFSA beneficiaries and will continue to do so until December 2023.

This initiative will cost the government a total of Rs 2 lakh crore. The decision to provide free food grains to NFSA beneficiaries for a year was approved by the Union Cabinet on December 23, 2022.

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