Digital payments a public good, no plans to levy charges: Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman

Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman reiterated government's stand to keep the digital payments ecosystem completely free without levying any charges to aid its growth.

Speaking at an event in Mumbai, Sitharaman said that the government sees digital payments as a public good and that people should be able to access these facilities freely.

“We see digital payments as a public good. People should be able to access these facilities freely, so that the digitisation of the Indian economy becomes attractive to them. We intend to achieve a higher level of transparency through digitisation. Therefore, we do think it’s not yet time for charging for UPI services,” she said.

The comments from the finance minister come just a few days after the finance ministry clarified that there are no plans to levy any charges on UPI. The UPI has a zero charge framework from January 1, 2020.

The ministry had said that the cost borne by providers will have to be recovered through other means.

Last week a discussion paper put out by the Reserve Bank of India sought suggestions on whether charges should be levied on transactions through UPI and other payment systems and interchange fees on cards.

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The Centre will continue to provide support to the digital ecosystem this year also to encourage further adoption of the digital economy, the finance ministry said, setting clear the government's thinking on the issue.

The Open Magazine of India by Artmotion Network (

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