The Indian government is exploring “multiple commercial use purposes not just financial inclusion” for its central bank digital currency. India’s finance minister has clarified that the aim is for the digital rupee, which will be backed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), to be issued by 2023.
India’s Finance Minister on RBI-Backed Digital Currency
India’s Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman discussed the country’s central bank digital currency (CBDC), the digital rupee, this week during a panel discussion on “Investing in India’s Digital Revolution ” in San Francisco.
The event was organized by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), a non-governmental trade association and advocacy group based in India. It was organized by the United States-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF).
Reiterating that the government and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) aim to introduce Indian central bank digital currency in 2023, the Minister of Finance described:
The government and RBI are studying its various business uses and not just financial inclusion.
She noted that financial inclusion “is largely achieved through the JAM (Jan Dhan-Aadhaar-Mobile) trinity.” The finance minister previously claimed, “The Narendra Modi government’s JAM trinity concept has helped reach the furthest person in the country.”
Sitharaman pointed out that the Indian government maintains a consistent digital push across industries. She pointed out, “Central bank digital currency, digital banks and digital university were announced in the Union budget. There is a continuous digital boost from the government in all sectors.
The finance minister explained during her budget speech that the introduction of a central bank digital currency would give a big boost to the country’s digital economy, saying:
Digital currency will also lead to a more efficient and cheaper currency management system.
Meanwhile, the Indian government is working on the country’s crypto policy. The finance minister said this week that the decision would not be rushed. RBI Deputy Governor T. Rabi Sankar said the central bank would launch a digital rupee “in a very calibrated and graduated manner, assessing the impact all along the line.”
Finance Ministry officials are also discussing crypto regulation with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.
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