PM Narendra Modi made a strong pitch for the digital currency to be launched by RBI, saying the digital rupee as proposed in the Union Budget could be exchanged for cash and will open new opportunities in the fintech sector.
“The digital rupee will revolutionise the fintech sector by creating new opportunities and lessen the burden in handling, printing, logistics management of cash. The Central Bank Digital Currency will be the digital form of our physical rupee and will be regulated by RBI. This will be such a system that will enable exchange of physical currency with digital currency. It will strengthen the digital economy. . . If anyone makes payment in digital currency, you will be able to change it to cash,” he said.
Modi’s remarks at a virtual symposium “Atmanirbhar Arthavyavastha (self-reliant economy)”, which was attended by BJP chief J P Nadda and other senior party functionaries, chief ministers of BJP-governed states and elected members, marked a full-scale embrace of the digital currency that seemed to contrast with the cautious ambivalence the government had shown so far on the issue.
Modi was forthright as he mentioned digital currency’s potential benefits. “CBDC will make digital payments and online transfers of funds more secure and risk-free. This will lead to ease in development of global digital payment systems,” he said, his remarks providing the maiden peek into the government’s posture on the sensitive issue of how to deal with digital currency.