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Give tax breaks for digital payments, says Niti Aayog (Relevant for GS Prelims and Mains Paper III, Topic: Way forward to cashless economy)

Niti Aayog proposal to give tax breaks on cashless payments while charging surcharge on cash payments:
Niti-Aayog has proposed giving tax breaks to consumers and merchants for debit or credit card payments. The government think-tank has also suggested levying surcharge for cash transactions beyond a set limit to encourage electronic transactions.

The government think-tank has also pitched for stronger policy for protection of interests of online shoppers. It was pointed out that existing legislation does not recognise e-commerce consumers and recommended early enactment of Consumer Protection Bill 2005 introduced in Lok Sabha and updating National Consumer Helpline regularly for e-commerce complaints.

Mobile wallets:
It has also been recommended that mobile wallets be allowed to participate in one of the government’s key reforms – Direct Benefit Transfer Scheme – for subsidies, minimum wage payments for various government schemes and other payments, using JanDhan, Aadhaar and Mobile (JAM).

Purpose:
The purpose of the proposed move is to encourage the digital payments and a way forward to cashless economy.

Similar Instance adopted in other nations:
In South Korea, the government promoted electronic payments by providing tax breaks for both shoppers and merchants on card transactions.



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