Connected Commerce: NITI Aayog

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    Recently, the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Aayog) and Mastercard have released a report titled ‘Connected Commerce: Creating a Roadmap for a Digitally Inclusive Bharat’.

    About the Report

    • It is based on five roundtable discussions which were held in October and November 2020.
    • It highlighted key issues and opportunities on policy and capacity building across agriculture, small business (MSMEs), urban mobility and cyber security.
    • Participants: Experts from the government, banking sector, the financial regulator, fintech enterprises, and various ecosystem innovators.
    • Key issues addressed during the knowledge series were, 
      • Accelerating digital financial inclusion for underserved sections of Indian society.
      • Enabling global opportunities for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to ‘get paid, get capital and get digital’ and access customers and ensure their continued resilience.
      • Inspiring trust and security in digital commerce through technological interventions and increasing cyber resilience.
      • Unlocking the promise of digitization in India’s agriculture sector and preparing India’s agri-enterprises for connected commerce.
      • Building robust transit systems for smart cities with a digital roadmap to make transit accessible for all citizens.

    Recommendations

    • Strengthen the payment infrastructure to promote a level playing field for Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) and banks.
    • Digitise registration and compliance processes and diversify credit sources to enable growth opportunities for MSMEs.
    • Build information sharing systems, including a ‘fraud repository’ and ensure that online digital commerce platforms carry warnings to alert consumers to the risk of frauds.
    • Enable agricultural NBFCs to access low-cost capital and deploy a ‘phygital’ (physical + digital) model for achieving better long-term digital outcomes. Digitised land records will also provide a major boost to the sector.
    • Make city transit seamlessly accessible to all with minimal crowding and queues, leverage existing smartphones and contactless cards and aim for an inclusive, interoperable and fully open system.

    National Institution for Transforming India

    • Set up in 2015 to replace the Planning Commission.
    • An Executive Body (acts as a think tank and advisory body).
    • Composition
      • Chairperson: Prime Minister of India.
      • Governing Council: Consists of the Chief Ministers of all the States and Lt. Governors of Union Territories in India.
      • Regional Councils: Will be created to address particular issues and possibilities affecting more than one state.
        • These will be formed for a fixed term and summoned by the PM.
        • These will be chaired by the Chairperson of the NITI Aayog or his nominee.
      • Special Invitees: Eminent experts, specialists with relevant domain knowledge, which will be nominated by the Prime Minister.
    • Full-time Organizational Framework
      • Prime Minister as the Chairperson.
      • Vice-Chairperson (appointed by the PM).
      • Members
        • Full-time
        • Part-time members on a rotational basis: Maximum of 2 members from foremost universities, leading research organizations, and other innovative organizations in an ex-officio capacity.
      • Ex Officio Members: Maximum of 4 members of the Council of Ministers which is to be nominated by the Prime Minister.
      • Chief Executive Officer: CEO will be appointed by the Prime Minister for a fixed tenure. He will be in the rank of Secretary to the Government of India.
    • Objective: To foster the spirit of cooperative and competitive federalism through structured support initiatives on a continuous basis.
    • Key Initiatives and Recent Achievements
      • Aspirational Districts Scheme.
      • 3 Documents: 3-year action agenda, 7-year medium-term strategy paper and 15-year vision document.
      • Monitoring and Analysing Food and Agricultural Policies (MAFAP) programme in India.
      • Promoted Zero Budget Natural Farming.
      • Promoting Bhartiya Prakritik Krishi Paddhati programme under Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY).
      • Village Storage Scheme.

    Source: PIB