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PIDF Scheme Extended By 2 Years To December 2025; PM Vishwakarma Scheme beneficiaries To Be Included In Scheme


New Delhi: Announcing its Monetary Policy Review on Friday, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) saidi it has decided to extend the (PIDF Payments Infrastructure Development Fund) Scheme by two years to December 2023 adding that beneficiaries of PM Vishwakarma Scheme will also be included in the scheme.

“As at end-August 2023, over 2.66 crore new touch points have been deployed under the Scheme. It is now proposed to extend the PIDF Scheme by a further period of two years, i.e., upto December 31, 2025,” RBI said.

The Payments Infrastructure Development Fund was operationalised by the Reserve Bank in January 2021 for a period of three years. The objective was to incentivise the deployment of payment acceptance infrastructure such as physical Point of Sale (PoS), Quick Response (QR) codes in tier-3 to tier-6 centres, north eastern states and Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh. 

“Beneficiaries of PM SVANidhi Scheme in Tier-1 and 2 centres were later included in August 2021. As at end-August 2023, over 2.66 crore new touch points have been deployed under the Scheme. It is now proposed to extend the PIDF Scheme by a further period of two years, i.e., upto December 31, 2025. Also, it is proposed to include beneficiaries of PM Vishwakarma Scheme in all centres under the PIDF Scheme. This decision to expand the targeted beneficiaries under the PIDF scheme will provide fillip to the Reserve Bank’s efforts towards promoting digital transactions at the grassroots level,” the central bank added.

RBI said, “Further, based on the feedback received from industry, deployment of emerging modes of payment acceptance, such as soundbox devices and Aadhaar-enabled biometric devices, are proposed to be encouraged under the PIDF Scheme. This is expected to further accelerate and augment the deployment of payment acceptance infrastructure in the targeted geographies”. 

The amendments will be notified shortly, it added.

“The inclusion of PM Vishwakarma scheme in PIDF will enhance market breadth and depth benefitting small scale artisans,” Dinesh Khara, Chairman, SBI said.

Under the PM Vishwakarma Scheme, the eligible beneficiaries (Vishwakarmas) would be registered free of charge through Common Services Centres using biometric-based PM Vishwakarma portal. They will be provided recognition through PM Vishwakarma certificate and ID card, along with skill upgradation involving basic and advanced training and toolkit incentive of Rs 15,000. Further, collateral-free credit support up to Rs 1 lakh (first tranche) and up to Rs 2 lakh (second tranche) at a concessional interest rate of 5% would be made available, in addition to incentive for digital transactions and marketing support.

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