Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant on Friday called for faster spread of technology to bring equity in the country.
The poor need more technology and are quick to adopt new ones, so the faster technology is spread to people living below the poverty line (BPL) the better it is for society, Kant said.
Speaking at the Asia Economic Dialogue 2022 organised by the ministry of external affairs and Pune International Centre, Kant said the rich in the country are still using cheque books and credit cards, while the poor are making mobile payments using the unified payments interface.
Opening a bank account used to take months, but today biometrics help the poor open accounts within minutes, he said. The government has made payments under 541 government schemes directly into people’s accounts without any leakages, Kant said. The way ahead is to spread broadband, internet and mobile coverage to the BPL section first and then to the others, he said.
The world is demanding ‘digital’ and ‘green’, and these segments will attract capital, technology, innovation, valuation and skills, Kant said. “Industries that do not go digital will have to wither away.”
He expects the move to digital and green to generate jobs. Kant said the gig economy is bound to expand and will unlock jobs, with technology enabling flexibility and choice of labour. It will also make the workforce diverse, with more women and persons with disabilities joining it, he said.
“We need a blend of measures relating to social protection, education, vocational education and skill development. Blend them all together and that is the only way forward to sustainable growth,” he said.