World Bank has praised India for digital infrastructure

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The World Bank has praised the significant impact of Digital Public Infrastructures (DPIs) in India during the past decade under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In a document prepared for the G20 Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion, the World Bank highlighted the Modi government’s initiatives and the crucial role of government policies and regulations in shaping the DPI landscape.

A standout achievement highlighted in the report is India’s remarkable progress in financial inclusion. The Jan Dhan Yojana (JAM) Trinity, comprising the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY), Aadhaar, and mobile numbers, has played a pivotal role in increasing financial inclusion rates. The report indicates that within just six years, India has elevated its financial inclusion rate from 25% in 2008 to over 80% of adults, a leap that reduced the journey towards financial inclusion by up to 47 years, largely attributed to the influence of DPIs.

The document acknowledges, “While DPIs have undeniably played a role in this leap, other ecosystem factors and policies built upon the availability of DPIs were also critical. These included measures to establish a more favorable legal and regulatory framework, national policies promoting account ownership, and the utilization of Aadhaar for identity verification.”

India’s DPI has not only revolutionized the public sector but has also enhanced efficiency for private organizations. Some Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) reported an 8% increase in SME lending conversion rates, a 65% reduction in depreciation costs, and a 66% decrease in expenses related to fraud detection.

The report emphasizes the phenomenal success of India’s Unified Payments Interface (UPI), with over 9.41 billion transactions valued at approximately ₹14.89 trillion taking place in May 2023 alone. For the fiscal year 2022–23, the total value of UPI transactions nearly reached 50% of India’s nominal GDP.

The UPI-PayNow interlinking between India and Singapore, which became operational in February 2023, has facilitated faster, more affordable, and transparent cross-border payments, aligning with the G20’s financial inclusion priorities.

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