New Delhi: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday had an interaction with Josh Lipsky of Atlantic Council wherein she spoke about India’s economic outlook and the country’s goals as G20 president, following the 4th G20 finance ministers and Central banks governors (FMCBG) meeting held on October 12-13 and IMF-World Bank meetings in Marrakech, Morocco.
The Finance Minister expressed happiness over the fact that under India’s presidency, G20 has given the world a glimmer of hope, especially at a time when one thinks that multilateral institutions can’t take any decisions and deliver.
“During our G20 presidency, a sense of wanting to deliver was on our minds. So it’s not just to the credit of the Indian G20 Presidency but the members who felt that this was the best opportunity to come out, showing the world that we can take decisions,” the Finance Minister said.
Speaking about payments infrastructure for emerging economies, Sitharaman said that for countries, particularly those in Africa and some of the island countries in the Pacific, there’s a serious problem of not having enough dollars to pay for what they essentially need and we have seen this lasting for more than a desirable time.
“So, in those circumstances, we have said that they can pay in their local currencies, provided that India and those countries establish some kind of equation. Equally, we are talking to countries to develop digital payment systems compatible with one another for efficient and real-time transfer,” she said during the interaction.
Technology is being readily adopted by Indian citizens of different backgrounds because of the use of regional languages. Many services do not require smartphones, they can be used on feature phones as well, the finance minister added.
“This use of technology isn’t confined to payments. We even issued vaccine certificates on phones. Anyone travelling abroad had it on their phones. It showed when they took the vaccine, when is the next date due and where can they take it,” she informed.