Significant Development in the PM Vishwakarma Scheme: RBI Joins Government in Supporting Artisans

Significant Development in the PM Vishwakarma Scheme: RBI Joins Government in Supporting Artisans

The Payment Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF) scheme has undergone expansion, now including beneficiaries of the PM Vishwakarma scheme, as announced by Shaktikanta Das, the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, on Friday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled the PM Vishwakarma initiative on September 17, 2023. This Central Sector Scheme is designed to provide comprehensive support to skilled artisans and craftsmen who rely on their manual expertise and hand tools. The program covers artisans and craftspeople involved in 18 distinct trades, including Carpenters (Suthar/Badhai), Boat Makers, Armourers, Blacksmiths (Lohar), Hammer and Tool Kit Makers, Locksmiths, Goldsmiths (Sonar), Potters (Kumhaar), Sculptors (Moortikar, stone carvers), Stone breakers, Cobblers (Charmkar)/Shoemakers/Footwear artisans, Masons (Rajmistri), Basket/Mat/Broom Makers/Coir Weavers, Doll & Toy Makers (Traditional), Barbers (Naai), Garland Makers (Malakaar), Washermen (Dhobi), Tailors (Darzi), and Fishing Net Makers.

Payment Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF)

The Payment Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF) is a fund established by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), in collaboration with major authorized card networks, with the aim of facilitating the development of payment acceptance infrastructure in tier-3 to tier-6 cities and the northeastern states of India. Special attention will also be given to the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh (UTs of J & K and Ladakh).

The PIDF scheme, activated since January 1, 2021, is geared towards promoting economic growth. In the allocation of funds, the primary focus is on identifying and assisting merchants who have yet to adopt payment acceptance technology, especially those lacking any payment acceptance devices. These eligible merchants may receive one physical and one digital acceptance device each through the program.

The Acquiring Committee (AC) will establish a transparent method for assigning targets to both acquiring banks and non-bank entities across various market segments and geographical locations.

Merchants offering essential services such as transportation, hospitality, government payments, fuel pumps, PDS shops, healthcare, kirana shops, street vendors, etc., may receive coverage, particularly in the targeted regions.

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Initial Funding Pool

To kickstart nationwide efforts for terminalization and ensure adequate coverage of payouts in the initial year, it is crucial to establish a substantial initial corpus for the Payment Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF). Contributions to the PIDF will be mandatory for both banks and card networks.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will contribute Rs 250 crore to the corpus, while authorized card networks will collectively contribute Rs 100 crore.

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