RFID chips must for all new vehicles

Source: The Economic Times, Nov 24, 2016

NEW DELHI: The government has told vehicle makers to provide e-payment enabled digital identifiers in all new vehicles to facilitate quick payment of toll taxes as part of its drive towards a cashless economy.

The road ministry is advising vehicle manufacturers that they must provide radio-frequency identification (RFID) facility in all new vehicles, allowing vehicles to cross toll booths without stopping, economic affairs secretary Shaktikanta Das said on Wednesday. “This will improve the functioning of toll plaza, digital payments,” he said.

ICICI Bank already has FASTag, a reloadable tag that can be affixed on the windscreen of vehicles to enable automatic deduction of toll charges. Currently available at 180 toll plazas across national and state highways, the tag employs Electronics Product Code Global Incorporated (EPCG)-compliant RFID technology.

The government has suspended toll collection on the national highways till November 24 following demonetisation of Rs500 and Rs1,000 notes as lack of legally valid cash was causing long queues at toll booths.

Outlining more measures to encourage shift to a cashless economy, Das said government organisations, public sector companies and government authorities have been advised to use only digital payment methods such as internet banking, unified payment interface, cards, and Aadhaar-enabled payment systems to make payments to all stakeholders and their employees.

Also, an option for payment through such digital modes will be provided at the point of disbursing of payment to various private agencies, contractors and private parties. “It will be an option that will be provided and instead of issuing a check or a demand draft, you can make payment through online transactions,” Das said.

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