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Want benefits to reach the last man and make life easier: KJ Alphons

The new minister for tourism and minister of state for electronics and IT, KJ Alphons, says taking government benefits to the last mile will be top priority. In an exclusive interview to Surabhi Agarwal, he said bringing down Cash Transactions will see dramatic reduction in black money. Excerpts:

What will be your priorities?
The priorities have been decided by the PM: Go for digitisation in a big way. The whole idea is to give last-mile connectivity to technology so that people reap the benefits of growth, especially those benefits given by the government — like subsidies from healthcare to education to making payments to getting payments. That is a broad spectrum.

How will you assess impact of ground work done for Digital India in the last three years?
I can’t go into details right now as I have a briefing the day after tomorrow. But things have changed dramatically. The biggest change has been that 26 crore people who have never been to a bank have been empowered with a bank account and the money is going to them directly. I think it is the greatest empowerment the world has seen. In future, all government benefits will go to these accounts and people will be able to make transactions using debit cards.

How do you plan to take the ministry’s thrust area of digital payments forward?
The Indian economy operates hugely on cash. After demonetisation, the number has come down dramatically. But it has to go down much more. We have to be on a line similar to the rest of the world. The moment you have more cash transactions, it leads to generation of black money. Therefore, bringing down cash transactions will lead to bringing down the black money component dramatically. Digitisation should not be for the sake of digitisation, the ultimate objective will be to bring down the black money component.

What are key challenges you see as MoS for IT?
A big issue is how to make personal data available while keeping them secure. Cyber security is a massive challenge. How to protect so much personal data generated and used in the digital world is a huge challenge.

Source : timesofindia

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Want benefits to reach the last man and make life easier: KJ Alphons


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