Budget 2019: Finance Minister gives major relief to e-payments platforms, removes MDR

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Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman tabled the Union Budget 2019 in the Lok Sabha today. It was her maiden budget, presented by Sitharaman and consecutively the second for the BJP-led government.

Finance Minister, in her maiden budget announced a major relief to the digital payments landscape in India. The series of declaration includes removal of Merchant Discount Rate (MDR) on digital transaction made at big establishments, having an annual turnover of more than ₹50 crore.

In addition to this, to discourage making business payments in cash, the Finance Minister announced a tax deducted at source or TDS of two percent for businesses proposed on cash withdrawals exceeding Rs one crore annually from their bank account.

BHIM, UPI–QR, AePS and other digital modes can be used to push less cash economy,” the finance minister said.

While, as per the report, issued by NITI Aayog, the digital payments market In India is set to grow to $1 trillion by 2023 led by growth in mobile payments, which are slated to rise from $10 billion in 2017-18 to $190 billion by 2023.

The growth is credited to high volume and value of digital transactions that were carried out after demonetisation.

Further, bringing the focus on micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), the Finance Minister, as part of her Budget speech, also announced that a payment platform for the MSMEs will be set up.

While, according to a report by Worldline India, the total volume of UPI transactions this quarter was 2.1 billion, a 328 percent rise from the first quarter last year. In terms of value, transactions increased by 495 percent, clocking Rs 3.5 trillion.

Moreover, the number of transactions on mobile wallets increased by 24.42 percent, recording 1.12 billion in the first quarter this year, while the total value of transactions was Rs 461 billion.

In terms of states with highest transactions, Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu topped the list, while Bengaluru, Mumbai, and Chennai were the three leading cities.

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