Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, during her address at the U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC) summit today, said India stack is well on its way to becoming a ‘global stack’ soon. The minister says the Centre is working on the aspects of interoperability and cross-border payments with other countries.
“The technology stack India has created is truly visionary. Several countries are now telling to us if the India stack could become a global stack. In that, we have payment structures and financial tech, which can talk to each other. Like between counties, India and Singapore, and India and the UAE, we are in an advanced stage in talking about the interoperable system in the financial tech, which is going to ease out a lot of cross-border payments.”
Notably, the India Stack is a comprehensive digital identity, payment, and data management system, which is widening access to financial services in a way never seen before in the country.
The minister says the global stack will not only work for cross-border payments of the Indian diaspora working elsewhere and wanting to send money as remittances, but it will be more of a cross-border payments system on a high order, which can help bulk transfers of funds i.e. stock market operations, investors, and fund managers.
The minister also touched upon India's need to continue to use coal energy despite global environmental concerns, primarily due to the country's sheer size and different levels of development.
She said the current geo-political crisis has added to the concerns around the handling of climate change issues, and because of the Russia-Ukraine war, there are huge uncertainties around crude, natural gas and coal. "We are saying we need to fall back on coal for some more time." She said it is for both the U.S. and India to come up with solutions to these concerns, even in the energy-transition period.
Speaking on the 'Maximising the Next 75 Years of US–India Prosperity' theme, Sitharaman says the Centre's priority is to ensure jobs, equitable wealth distribution and make sure India is moving on the path of growth.
The minister outlined three strengths based on which both nations can maximise their prosperity. They are -- the size of the Indian economy, India's demographic strength that is twofold (skilled, high-end, tech-savvy people), and the prowess that India has acquired in the digital world, which has influenced the way in which it has spread and certified vaccinations and also gave a platform for global communities to track and trace patients. “We opened it for the entire world.”
Speaking on India's thriving trade with the U.S., Sitharaman says both nations will contribute around 30% of the global GDP in the next two decades.
Besides, the minister says the government is working on a new Data Privacy Bill, which will be ready soon. "We'll soon have a new Data Privacy Bill, which will be a product of consultations & will address every such concern most of us had on the Privacy Bill,” says the minister.