Easy To Do Reforms 1
Here are two easy to do concepts that can be developed and implemented in our country in a relatively short time. We have the necessary resources to develop them and they will bring a huge benefit to the country. Further, we can also share or sell the same to other countries. The IP and the implementation will be ours.
National Kirana Backbone
Online, offline, hybrid - if there were more terms, we would be using them as well. But what is evident beyond the words is that retail is not only big business but a necessity for our country.
Our kirana stores are a huge and deep asset that we have. They can be old, dirty and outdated but they are an asset all the same. Spruce them up and we could have a well functioning mass of kirana stores.
Lots of action happening in this space - mostly on the customer facing front but very little to make each kirana store a power house in it's area.
Considering the numbers, the reach and the scale it is the Govt of India which needs to set up and make the National Kirana Backbone (NKB). It could be modelled on the basis of NDDB or KVIC.
First step would be to create a cloud backbone exclusively for all kirana stores. This cloud based network will let each kirana store be connected 24x7 to it. This cloud backbone will be the core.
Second, each kirana store should be given an electronic terminal (called Pyaare), connected to the cloud. This terminal will be multi functional. An electronic PoS (Point of Sale) machine, it will also have software that maintains accounts, allows ordering of goods directly, maintain invoices et al. In short a digital accounting assistant.
Third, all suppliers, India wide should be able to sign in to the cloud and take orders from any kirana store. This will eliminate a lot of time wasting and let the kirana owner order by clicking a button.
Fourth, each kirana store should be able to let their customers order via an App. Customers should be able to download an app, put in their kirana store's mobile number and then be able to place an order via the App. Or call the store and place the order over the phone. The delivery can be done by the kirana store in 12 - 24 hours. These front end Apps (including third party apps) can be integrated into the Pyaare terminal or they can be separate to it. This will let kirana stores partner with multiple customer aggregators.
Fifth, GST payments can be directly calculated by the software in the terminal thus getting rid of a major headache for kirana stores.
Sixth, the Pyaare terminal should be UPI compliant and kirana store owners should be able to pay their suppliers and vendors directly through the Pyaare terminal.
Seventh, these stores can then be used for PDS distribution as well instead of having a separate network for them.
It is estimated that there are around 4 crore kirana stores all over India, with mostly one family running each kirana store.
Such an initiative will not only upgrade the kirana stores into modern era but it will also formalise a huge chunk of the informal economy. This will also help the kirana stores meet the challenge of e-commerce as well as modern trade.
Most importantly, the vast data generated on this backbone will remain in India and in Indian hands.
Centralised land registry based on blockchain
India needs to set up a centralised land registry database based on blockchain technology. Currently land and property matters clog the courts for years as ownership is disputed.
A centralised land registry based on blockchain technology will ensure that the providence and ownership of all land and immovable property is maintained.
The transition to this registry could be done using satellite and drone technology. This will ensure boundaries of all properties are properly defined. All matters pending in courts can be put on fast track to ensure that clean and clear titles are uploaded to this registry.
This registry should be under the control of the Central Govt but all State & Local Govts should be able to access and update the registry. The blockchain nature of the registry will ensure that frauds and illegal mutations are not only noticed but also traceable.
This will ensure that titles to land and non movable property are clear. It will also help inform who owns what in our country.
And it will usher in a fair transparent way of collecting land and property taxes. Revenue from annual land and property taxes are a significant component of taxes collected in most countries. India misses out on these taxes due to it's fragmented and ancient land records system.