India’s Digital Revolution Offers Investment Opportunities For US: Nirmala Sitharaman

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday said India’s digital revolution has offered investment opportunities for the US. “India’s Open Network for Digital Commerce has revolutionised the retail and manufacturing sector,” Sitharaman said at a business conference in New Delhi. She also said this offered business opportunities to foreign companies, according to a Reuters report.

The ONDC, an open technology network based on an open protocol, saw its alpha launch in five cities in April. The platform will allow buyers and sellers to connect and transact with each other online, regardless of what other applications they use.

It has been tested with a closed user group for end-to-end execution to understand their fulfillment. The number of network participants is expected to substantially increase to more than 30 in the coming weeks. Building on this, ONDC plans to start beta-testing the network with public users in limited areas.

Sitharaman in April had assured the investors that the government will address any possible pain points to encourage investments in the country. Addressing a roundtable on ‘Investing in India’s Digital Revolution’ in San Francisco, the minister encouraged constant engagement with investors to understand and address their concerns.

Apart from this, digital payment transactions value through UPI rose to Rs 10.73 lakh crore in August this year, up marginally from the previous month, data showed on Thursday. In July 2022, the UPI-based digital transaction value stood at Rs 10.63 lakh crore.

The value of UPI transactions during August this year relates to a total of 6.57 billion (657 crore) transactions, up from 6.28 billion (628 crore) in the preceding month, as per the data released by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). In June, there were 5.86 billion transactions, valued at worth Rs 10.14 lakh crore.

Of the other data sets on the NCPI framework, the instant transfer-based IMPS clocked transactions worth Rs 4.46 lakh crore in August, relating to a total of 46.69 crore transactions. In July, it stood at Rs 4.45 lakh crore in value terms through a total of 46.08 crore transactions.

The NETC FASTAG for automatic toll deduction at toll plazas witnessed transactions worth Rs 4,245 crore in August, up from Rs 4,162 crore in the preceding month. In terms of number of transactions, this related to over 27 crore in August, as against 26.5 crore in July.

In terms of Aadhaar-based payment — AePS — the transactions came down by nearly 10 per cent to Rs 27,186 crore in August, as against Rs 30,199 crore in previous month. The number of transactions fell to 10.56 crore from 11 crore.

(With Inputs From PTI)

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