India bright spot on dark horizon: IMF chief lauds nation's digital success

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India bright spot on dark horizon: IMF chief lauds nation's digital success
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IMF

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is all praises for India’s growth story that it called a bright spot on the otherwise dark horizon.

IMF managing director Kristalina Georgieva said India deserves to be called a bright spot on this otherwise dark horizon because it has been a fast-growing economy, even during these difficult times. “Most importantly, this growth is underpinned by structural reforms,” Georgieva told reporters at a briefing when asked about her expectations from India ahead of the G20 presidency.

Among the remarkable success is digitisation in India and digital access, she added. Georgieva was speaking on the sidelines of annual meetings of the Boards of Governors of the IMF and the World Bank in Washington DC.

“The country (India) is now stepping into taking the lead on G20 from that position of strength which makes me strongly believe that we will see India leaving a mark on the world for years to come during next year’s presidency.”

Earlier, Paolo Mauro, deputy director of the Fiscal Affairs Department at the IMF, described India’s deployment of a direct cash transfer scheme and other similar social welfare programmes as a “logistical marvel”, stating there is a lot to learn from the country which is one of the most inspiring examples of the application of technology to solve complicated issues.

“From India, there is a lot to learn. There is a lot to learn from some other examples around the world. We have examples from pretty much every continent and every level of income. If I look at the case of India, it is actually quite impressive,”, told reporters here on Wednesday.

“In fact, just because of the sheer size of the country, it is a logistical marvel how these programmes that seek to help people who are at low-income levels reach literally hundreds of millions of people,” he said.

According to government data, more than 24.8 lakh crore has been transferred through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) mode since 2013, 6.3 lakh crore in the financial year 2021-22 alone; on an average over 90 lakh DBT payments are processed daily as per data of FY22.

“In the case of India, one thing that is striking is the use of the unique identification system, the Aadhaar,” Mauro said.

“But in other countries, also, there is greater use of sending money through mobile banking to people who actually do not have a whole lot of money, but they have a cell phone,” Mauro said.

Stating that the IMF is collaborating with India on the application of new technologies, Vitor Gaspar, director of the Fiscal Affairs Department, said the country is “one of the most inspiring examples of the application of technology to solve very complicated issues of targeting support to the people who need it most”.

The IMF has also been working with many African countries in the area of government technology.

(With inputs from agencies)


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