Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who's on a six-day visit to the US, today said India is talking to different countries, including Singapore and the UAE, to make RuPay acceptable in their countries.
She also said apart from RuPay, UPI and BHIM app also being accepted by other nations. "Not just that, the UPI, the BHIM app, and NPCI are all now being worked in such a way that their systems in their respective country, however, robust or otherwise, can talk to our system," she added.
The FM says interoperability itself gives strength to Indians' capabilities in those nations. She was speaking at the session, “India’s Economic Prospects and Role in the World Economy”, organised by the Brookings Institute as part of its “State of the Global Economy and Global Governance” event.
The FM's remarks reflect her earlier statements made during the U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC) summit in September, in which she said India stack is well on its way to becoming a ‘global stack’ soon and that the government is working on the aspects of interoperability and cross-border payments with many countries.
On the performance of the Indian economy, which has been better as compared to other major economies, the FM says the PM-led government pushed hard for digitalisation since 2014. "It started earlier also, but the pace at which we tried covering various aspects of it -- getting the optical fibres, going at the panchayat level, and making sure people were able to access it. Financial inclusion was another thing which was ramped up. We speeded up Aadhaar as well," she said.
She said when Covid struck the world, no one really knew how to handle it. "Pre-pandemic efforts included making the Indian economy robust, with infrastructure of not just roads but also digital infrastructure ready financial inclusion so that everybody has access to a bank account. All this came in handy during the Covid-19 pandemic," she said.
On the long-standing reforms being taken during the NDA regime, the FM said it's a continuous process, and that the government has opened up all the sectors for privatisation. "There is no area totally reserved for the public sector, and everything has been opened up. We said the public sector will be present in four areas only, that too minimal presence."
She said the power and telecom sectors are going through major reforms, and the government is committed to removing all the archaic laws, which are stalling progress. "Reforms are going through steadily and continuously. It’s not like we’ve done that and the story ended there. We are committed to third-generation reforms and are going through with them," she said, adding the focus of the government is pro-people reforms.
The finance minister said the government is driven by the principle of empowerment of the weaker sections of society through supportive reform measures. She also said multilateral institutions need to be robust and strengthened in order to give solutions.