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Technology is secret sauce for India’s transformation: Jayant Sinha

The Minister of State for Finance was addressing the 10th India Digital Summit of IAMAI. Technology is driving government initiatives and will be pivotal for social security schemes

BestMediaInfo Bureau | New Delhi | February 11, 2016

Jayant Sinha Jayant Sinha

“Technology is the secret sauce for India’s transformation,” said Union Minister of State for Finance, Jayant Sinha. He was delivering the valedictory address at the 10th India Digital Summit of the Internet & Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) held in New Delhi yesterday.

Sinha reiterated the government’s firm commitment to transforming India. “There are three vectors for the transformation – internet and mobile, green technology, and transportation. All of them are interlinked and technology is the secret sauce for India’s transformation,” he said.

Sinha said that the Jan Dhan programme had enabled every Indian to have a bank account. “If you look at it, it is technology which is driving most of the programmes of the government. The Social Security Platform which the government is working on is dependent on technology. Technology will be pivotal for social security as it will enable a transparent system with a digital audit trail,” the minister emphasized.

Sinha stressed that “protecting and safeguarding privacy of the data” was paramount and the government would ensure that it was protected. He said once the architecture of the Social Security Platform was ready, the government would reach out to various stakeholders for inputs. Touching on startups, Sinha said, “India is going to be the entrepreneur engine catering to six billion people of the world.”

Speaking of Net neutrality, Sinha said, “Access to high speed broadband should be available to every citizen, without any restrictions.”

Addressing the summit earlier in the day, Rajya Sabha MP Rajeev Chandrashekhar said that “Net neutrality as an issue was there for a while. What the regulator has done is great, differential pricing has not been defined properly.”

Speaking at a session, Saurabh Garg, Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, said, “More than 95 per cent of consumer transactions are in cash form. Non-cash payments are still to penetrate rural areas. There are various benefits of cashless transactions as the printing cost will also go down which is a win-win situation for both.” He pointed out that the infrastructure for use of cards – the point of sale machine – needs to be in place. “There are many issues related to Security like theft, which we will have to look into as we go forward.”

A report titled “Tapping the MSME Potential” by IAMAI-IMRB was unveiled at the summit. The report speaks of building online presence among MSME businesses in India. It says that 61per cent of India’s MSMEs (medium and small enterprises) believe that it was important to have an online identity for their business.

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