The Economic Survey 2023, presented on Tuesday ahead of the Union Budget, said that India clocked 200% increase in rural internet subscriptions in six years, compared to the 158 per cent growth clocked by urban areas in the same period. It also said that Unified Payments Interface (UPI) accounted for 52 per cent of the total 8,840 crore financial digital transactions in financial year 2022.
The survey stated that UPI-based transactions in value and volume terms were 121 per cent and 114 per cent, respectively. In December 2022, it was at its highest with 782 crore transactions worth Rs 12.8 lakh crore. The UPI processed 2,922 crore contactless merchants’ transactions with a total value over Rs 21.7 lakh crore in FY23 till December 2022. The facility saw a wide use during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially among small and micro merchants. The government is also pushing for its adoption through UPI/RuPay powered apps in international markets such as Singapore, UAE, France, and the Netherlands. It acknowledged dedicated digital drives across rural areas through ambitious government schemes, like the flagship BharatNet Project Scheme, Telecom Development Plan, Aspirational District Scheme, initiatives in Northeastern Region through Comprehensive Telecom Development Plan and initiatives towards areas affected by Left Wing Extremism, etc. The survey also called the rollout of 5G services a “landmark achievement in telecommunications” in India.