The Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Government of India, in collaboration with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Asia and Pacific Department (APD), with support from the IMF South Asia Regional Training and Technical Assistance Centre (SARTTAC) hosted an international seminar on ‘Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI): Enabler for Financial Inclusion and Productivity Gains’ in New Delhi on Friday.The event held in hybrid format saw participation of Secretary (Economic Affairs), Ministry of Finance, Chief Economic Advisor, Government of India, senior experts from the IMF and World Bank joining in-person and representatives from over 100 countries across Asia, Africa, and the Middle East joining virtually. This seminar served as a platform for fostering peer learning, sharing global best practices, and promoting collaboration to harness the potential of Digital Public Infrastructure in advancing financial inclusion and productivity, the Union Ministry of Finance said in a press release.
The IMF presented a comprehensive overview of India’s remarkable journey in developing the India stack as a world-class Digital Public Infrastructure which has not only transformed the digital landscape in India but also offers powerful lessons for digital transformation worldwide. The IMF’s paper ‘Stacking up the Benefits: Lessons from India’s Digital Journey’ particularly commended India’s Direct Benefit Transfer mechanism for effectively reaching over 87% of poor households during the COVID-19 pandemic, highlighting India’s ability to deliver essential services through digital means.
The World Bank presented the G20 policy recommendations for advancing financial inclusion and productivity gains through digital public infrastructure. These recommendations were recently endorsed by the G20 Leaders’ Summit in New Delhi, which provide actionable insights and customizable strategies for countries to optimize the potential of DPIs in achieving financial inclusion and fostering economic growth.
Secretary (Economic Affairs) shared insights from India’s digital journey and underscored the critical role of Digital Public Infrastructure in bridging the digital and financial inclusion divides as simple, scalable, and sustainable solutions that can effectively reach the last mile, ensuring that no one is left behind in the digital age. The CEA discussed the way ahead for developing DPI through knowledge sharing, capacity building and cross-border linkage of DPIs.
The seminar also witnessed discussions between industry experts, Nithin Kamath, Chief Executive Officer, Zerodha and Pramod Varma, Chief Technology Officer, EkStep Foundation. Their insights shed light on the path to innovation, competition, and financial inclusion through the adoption of DPIs.
The seminar on Digital Public Infrastructure showcased India’s leadership in the field of digital public infrastructure and its commitment to fostering inclusive economic growth. The event served as a platform for international collaboration and knowledge sharing, furthering the global agenda of harnessing DPIs for sustainable development, the ministry added.