Palo Alto (California) [US]: Highlighting several digitization-related progressive steps in the budget this year, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday (local time) said that there is a continuous digital nudge by the government across different sectors.
Sitharman’s remarks came during the ‘Business Roundtable: Investing in India’s Digital Revolution’ organized by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and co-hosted by the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF) in Palo Alto, California.
Alluding to the recently announced Central bank digital currency, digital banks, and digital university, Sitharaman stated, “There is a continuous digital nudge by the government across sectors.”
Interacting with the participants, the Finance Minister said India aims to introduce digital currency by 2023. However, she added that aiding financial inclusion was not the sole purpose of the proposed digital currency, unlike in other countries. “The government and RBI are looking into its several commercial use purposes and not just financial inclusion, which is largely achieved through the JAM trinity,” she said.
She also encouraged constant engagement to understand and address investor concerns and was open to suggestions to understand pain points and offer necessary redressal. She also invited stakeholders interested in Indian startups to engage with the Startup Cell at the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
Speaking on occasion, Subhrakant Panda, Senior Vice President of FICCI and Managing Director of Indian Metals and Ferro Alloys, said India is on the cusp of a digital revolution powered by increasing broadband and internet penetration, exponential data uptake, and the government’s focus on digitization.
He noted that digital transformation has been a key theme for the country in the recent past. India currently has more than 500 million smartphone users, with 68 per cent on 4G. The country’s ‘Digital India’ programme driven by UPI, digital literacy, and Digilocker, among others, have been a bellwether for the transformation underway. The value of transactions under UPI crossed USD 1 trillion in 2021-22, representing a spectacular five-fold jump in the last two years.
Alluding to the robust economic recovery in India in the backdrop of the pandemic, Panda said, “most sectors in India have surpassed pre-pandemic levels, and RBI has estimated the growth to be in the 7-7.5 per cent range, which will once again make India the world’s fastest-growing major economy.”
Ambassador of India to the United States Taranjit Singh Sandhu said that India and the United States enjoy much more confidence and trust mutually.
“In the last three weeks, three senior-most cabinet ministers visited the US, showcasing the strengthening of the relationship between the two countries,” he said, adding, “It is reflective of the depth coming in this relationship.”
Dr V Anantha Nageswaran, Chief Economic Advisor under the Ministry of Finance, said India is much better placed in the global economic situation. “What matters is relative performance and relative strength; that’s where India is better placed,” he said. (ANI)