Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, before concluding her six-day visit to the U.S., said in Washington DC that India's one of the agendas during the G20 presidency next year would be developing standard operating procedures (SOPs) for cryptocurrency.

The finance minister, who attended the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, said India would want to place the agenda on crypto before the G20 table for discussion and aim for a tech-driven regulatory framework.

"We would definitely want to collate all this and do a bit of study and then bring it on to the table of the G20 so that members can discuss it, and hopefully arrive at a framework or SOP so that globally, countries can have a technology-driven regulatory framework," said the FM, as reported by a news agency.

G20, an intergovernmental forum comprising 19 countries and the European Union, is the premier forum for international economic cooperation that plays an important role in global economic governance. India will hold the Presidency of the G20 from 1 December 2022 to 30 November 2023, culminating with the G20 Summit in India in 2023.

Finance minister Sitharaman has repeatedly spoken about crypto regulation on a global level to tackle challenges associated with their misuse for illicit purposes like money laundering and terror activities. In a panel discussion with International Monetary Fund (IMF) managing director Kristalina Georgieva in April in the US, the FM had said India does not recognise crypto and they are not legal.

"The central bank is yet to come up with a digital currency. It will happen sometime in 2022-23, but in the meantime, we are not sure about the veracity of the data."

“Regulation can't be done by a single do it across the borders, tech does not have a solution acceptable to various countries," she added.

During the last day of her visit on October 16, the FM visited the National Science Foundation in Alexandria, Virginia, and saw presentations on astronomy, public messaging during health crises like COVID-19; & AI for robotics, with applications to agriculture & environmental sustainability by eminent & distinguished professors.

Some industry leaders also participated in the FM's meetings with think tanks across the US. After his meeting with the FM, Adhil Shetty, CEO of Bank Bazaar and co-chair of FICCI Fintech Committee said the FM's message of India's digital public goods and sharing it with the world is really resonating. "UPI and RuPay are something which other countries want to learn from."

Lakshmanan Chidambaram, chairman, Tech Mahindra said: "She was very curious about what's happening in the U.S. market, the perception of India here. We all look forward to working with her."

Sunil Sanghai, CEO, NovaaOne Capital, says India has clearly emerged as a bright spot globally for handling quantitative tightening,

ability to make hard decisions and improve the productivity of the economy through digitisation.

The FM also interacted with a group of Indian-overseas scholars and students from various US universities -- University of Maryland, Harvard University, American University, Georgetown University & Princeton University - in Washington DC.

During her meeting with World Bank Group president David Malpass in Washington DC, the two discussed various issues, including India’s G20 presidency, improving the capital adequacy framework of (Multilateral Development Banks) MDBs, and addressing debt vulnerabilities.

The FM thanked him for a product development committee meeting and for supporting India over the last two years, especially in increasing the single borrower limit. "The World Bank has been a valuable partner of the G20 since inception and India looks forward to closing collaboration during the upcoming G20 Presidency."

Impressed by the quick and deep penetration of India's financial inclusion and digitalisation initiatives, the World Bank chief assured her of showcasing this to other FMs as a way for governments to help their poor leapfrog in these challenging times.

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