Digital Finance Inclusion, Awareness & Access:
Lack of awareness of digital financial literacy, especially among the rural population is a major challenge in the country, more so in light of the demonetization by the Government and plans to make India a cashless economy. There was an urgent need to create awareness among the citizens, especially in rural and semi-urban areas regarding digital financial services. Under the “Digital Finance for Rural India: Creating Awareness and Access through CSC’s” project launched by the Government in November 2016, CSCs were enabled to host awareness sessions on government policies and digital finance options available for rural citizens as well as enabling various mechanisms of digital financial services such as such as IMPS, UPI, Bank PoS machines, etc. The project was conducted in a campaign mode by CSC till March 2017. CSC was entrusted with the responsibility of registering of 100 lakh citizens and enablement of 25 lakh small merchants under this programme. Till March 2017, CSC registered more than 2 crore citizens and enabled around 21 lakh merchants.
‘VLE Bazaar’ – A rural e-commerce venture
VLE Bazaar is an online market platform dedicated to unique Indian handicrafts and cottage products which are handmade, ethnic, organic and natural. It aims to unleash the potential of rural economy to address lack of decent jobs and reliable income, low productivity, informality, ineffective organization, and to encourage participation of rural people in decision-making. VLE Bazaar is working to bridge the gap and provide that much-needed platform between rural artisans and urban consumers. Products procured are specialty of the particular region with an element of traditional knowledge, local art, modern technology and design inputs. VLE Bazaar aim is to develop craft based enterprises and explore new and commercially sustainable models of livelihood generation.
VLE Bazaar catalogue includes:
CSC has initiated skill development courses with the vision of -
Initiatives under skill development:
CSCs as GST Suvidha Provider:
Goods and Services Tax (GST) is the new system of taxation in India which has merged many individually applied taxes into a single tax. It was introduced as the Constitution (One Hundred and First Amendment) Act 2016, following the passage of Constitution 101st Amendment Bill.
GST is a comprehensive indirect tax on manufacture, sale and consumption of goods and services throughout India to replace taxes levied by the central and state governments.
Although the GST system will have a G2B portal for taxpayers to access the GST systems, GST Suvidha Provider or GSP is one of the methods of interacting with the GST system. The taxpayer via GST Suvidha Provider, which will provide all user interfaces and convenience via desktop, mobile and other interfaces, will be able to interact with the GST system.
CSC has taken the initiative of becoming a GST Suvidha Provider. All CSCs across the country would act as GST Suvidha Provider and will help merchants in filing taxes under the new regime and also provide necessary training and support services to people.
In 2010, the Reserve bank of India (RBI) issued guidelines to Banks for delivery of financial services through the CSCs to bring citizens in rural areas under the ambit of financial inclusion. CSC has since partnered with 42 public and private sector banks and regional rural banks to leverage its last mile network to bring the unbanked, especially marginalized communities and women under banking. Under this partnership,CSCs across the country can become Business Correspondent Agents / Customer Service Points to deliver banking facilities to citizens, such as:
During 2016-17, banking services of 36 banks – 23 PSU Banks and 13 Rural Banks - have been made available through 11,940 BC Points across the country.During the financial year, 382.71 lakh transactions worth Rs. 5,70,163.61 lakh were done by these BCs.
During 2016-17, 1,26,309 VLEs have registered under Digi Pay service. Around 28.351 lakh successful transactions have been made at CSCs under Digi Pay to withdraw Rs. 17,901.89 lakh.
Insurance Service :
CSC acquired license from the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) in 2013 to work as an authorized intermediary to market life and non-life insurance products through the Rural Authorised Persons, i.e. the VLEs. CSCs started offeringGeneral, Health and Life Insurance policies to rural investors. So far, 36 insurance companies have come on board to offer various insurance policies through CSCs. CSCs have also started offering motor third party insurance to its rural customers.
Sale of New Policies:During 2016-17, 40,016 RAP VLEs sold new insurance policies, both life and non-life, to 2,15,677 new customers and collected premium worth Rs. 2389.57 lakh from those customers.
Collection of Renewal Premium:CSCs across the country can also collect insurance premium towards renewal of life insurance policies. During 2016-17, around 40,000 CSCs have been engaged in renewal of life insurance policies of 18 insurance companies. During the year, these RAPs have collected renewal premium worth Rs. 31,026.36 lakh from existing 8,31,710 life insurance policy holders.
Jan Suraksha Schemes:In 2015, theGovernment launched three special insurance and pension schemes for citizens, especially from the unorganized sector and marginalized communities. VLEs working as BCAs can offer the three social security schemes – Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY), Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY) and Atal Pension Yojana (APY) to citizens. The Punjab National Bank has agreed to extend APY enrolments of their account holders through CSCs across the country.
The National Pension System (NPS) is a voluntary, defined contribution retirement savings scheme designed to enable the subscribers to make optimum decisions regarding their future through systematic savings during their working life. NPS seeks to inculcate the habit of saving for retirement amongst the citizens. It is an attempt towards finding a sustainable solution to the problem of providing adequate retirement income to every citizen of India.
NPS is based on a unique Permanent Retirement Account Number (PRAN) which is allotted to each Subscriber upon joining NPS. NPS accumulates savings into subscribers PRA while he is working and using the accumulations at retirement to procure a pension for the rest of his life. NPS service has been launched through CSCs since April 2017.
Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY):
Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) is a comprehensive, yield based crop insurance scheme of the Government which aims to provide financial support to farmers suffering crop loss/damage arising out of unforeseen events. The scheme cover crop losses due to –