Bhubaneswar, Dec 28:
The Odisha government on Wednesday urged the Centre to improve telecom infrastructure, banking services and internet penetration in rural areas for cashless transactions and digital payments in the state.
Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi represented Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at the Chief Ministers’ Committee meeting on digital payments through video conferencing on Wednesday.
“Banking infrastructure and internet connectivity in the state, more particularly in rural areas, should be improved substantially from the present level for effective implementation of digital payment system,” said Padhi.
Participating in the discussion, Finance Secretary Tuhin Kanta Pandey said that though the banks are connected with 3G/4G and high-speed broadband services for their card swiping machines, the internet speed is less than 100 kbps.
“This occurs even in some pockets of the large cities like Bhubaneswar due to problems of connectivity. It is difficult to restore link all the time, as a result of which people are facing problem to do transactions though swiping machines, micro ATMs and point of sale (PoS) devices,” said the Finance Secretary.
About 60 per cent of the rural banking sub-service areas do not have adequate internet connectivity for supporting 3,900 Micro ATMs and mobile POS machines.
The failure rate of Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) transaction on feature phones in rural areas has been reported to the extent of 60-75 per cent, he added.
Banking presence in remote areas is also quite insufficient. In Odisha, nearly 4,401 Gram Panchayats of the total 6,802 do not have any bank branches. (IANS)