In another step along the path to digitalizing the country, the Indian government has asked vehicle manufacturers to provide digital identity tag in all new vehicles. The government hopes to deploy this digital identity tag (RFID) to enable electronic payment at all toll plazas, thus ensuring a continuous flow of traffic and an effortless toll payment experience for the travelers.
The government has come up with this novel scheme in the wake of demonetization and all the hassles that followed with the paying of toll taxes at highways. Although toll taxes have been put on hold until the 24th of November, the problems faced by having to pay these taxes appear to have made the government realize that the time for some major change had finally come.
Speaking on the topic, economic affairs secretary Shaktikanta Das said,
So, as far as toll plazas are concerned, the ministry of road, transport and highways is advising vehicle manufacturers that in all new vehicles, the manufacturers must provide Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) facility.
Once this scheme is fully implemented, Vehicles will be able to pass through toll booths without passing. The toll amount would simply be deducted from their rechargeable RFID tag. So kind of like the metro cards. However, you don’t even need to get out and swipe them. Simply pass through the booth and voila! The government is slightly richer, thanks to the the toll tax you just paid.
This move to enable RFID tags on toll booths is part of a wider, government backed push to go digital. Towards that, the Indian government is encouraging the use of cards, digital banking, unified payment interface (UPI) and Aadhar-enabled payments wherever possible.
Government organisations, PSUs and other government authorities have been advised to use only digital payment methods such as internet banking, unified payment interface, cards, Aadhar-enabled payment systems to make payments to all stakeholders and their employees.
The Indian government wants the country to reduce its reliance on cash and after demonetization, I am sure a lot of us feel the same way. As such, the move to introduce digital RFID tags in vehicles is very welcome. Although, some might make a case against this as theoretically, the government could also track your movements through all major roads.