Prime Minister's Office

English rendering of PM’s remarks at the launch of UPI services in Sri Lanka and Mauritius

Posted On: 12 FEB 2024 2:30PM by PIB Delhi

Your Excellency President Ranil Wickremesinghe ji, Your Excellency Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth ji, the External Affairs Minister of Bharat Dr. Jaishankar ji, distinguished Governors of the Central Banks of Sri Lanka, Mauritius, and Bharat, and all esteemed participants of this significant event!

Today marks a momentous occasion for three friendly nations of the Indian Ocean region. We are forging modern digital links to augment our longstanding historical ties. This initiative underscores our unwavering dedication to the progress of our people. Through Fintech connectivity, we aim not only to enhance cross-border transactions but also to strengthen interpersonal ties across borders. Bharat's Unified Payments Interface, known as UPI, is now embarking on a new role – Uniting Partners with India.

Friends,

Digital Public Infrastructure has catalysed a revolutionary transformation in Bharat. Even in our remotest villages, the smallest traders are embracing digital payments for their convenience and efficient speed. Last year alone, the UPI facilitated a record-breaking 100 billion transactions, amounting to over Rs 2 lakh crore. This equates to 8 trillion Sri Lankan rupees and 1 trillion Mauritius rupees. We are ensuring last mile delivery through JAM trinity – i.e. bank account, Aadhaar and mobile phones. So far, Rs 34 lakh crore, i.e. more than $400 billion, has been deposited directly into the bank accounts of the beneficiaries through this system. During the Covid pandemic, Bharat executed the world's largest vaccination campaign through the CoWin platform. The use of technology is enhancing transparency, reducing corruption, fostering inclusivity, and bolstering public confidence in the government.

Friends,

Bharat's policy of 'Neighbourhood First' and our maritime vision of 'SAGAR' i.e. 'Security And Growth For All in the Region underscore our commitment to peace, security, and development in the region. Bharat recognises that its development is intertwined with that of its neighbouring nations. We are consistently enhancing connectivity with Sri Lanka across various domains. During President Wickremesinghe's visit to Bharat last year, we adopted a vision document, with the expansion of financial connectivity being a significant aspect of it. It brings me great joy to see this resolution come to fruition today. Furthermore, we engaged in comprehensive discussions with Prime Minister Jugnauth last year, and I am pleased to note that he was our distinguished guest at the G-20 Summit. I am confident that the inclusion of Sri Lanka and Mauritius in the UPI system will benefit both countries. The pace of digital transformation will accelerate. There will be tremendous changes in local economies. Additionally, it will boost tourism between our nations, with Indian tourists likely to prioritise destinations with UPI access. Moreover, individuals of Indian origin residing in Sri Lanka and Mauritius, as well as students studying there, will derive special benefits from this initiative. I am delighted to announce that following its successful launch in Nepal, Bhutan, Singapore, and the UAE, the RuPay card is now being introduced in Africa with Mauritius. This will streamline transactions for individuals travelling from Mauritius to Bharat, reducing the need to buy hard currency. The UPI and RuPay card systems will facilitate real-time, cost-effective, and convenient payments in our respective currencies. Looking ahead, we envisage advancing towards cross-border remittances in the near future through Person to Person (P2P) payment facilities.

Excellencies,

Today's launch epitomises the success of Global South cooperation. Our relations are not just limited to transactions, it is a historical relation. It strengthens our people-to-people relations. Over the past decade, Bharat has demonstrated its unwavering support for its neighbouring nations during times of crisis. Whether responding to natural disasters, health emergencies, economic challenges, or providing support on the international stage, Bharat has consistently been the first to offer assistance and will continue to do so. Even as the G-20 Presidency, we prioritized addressing the concerns of the Global South. Furthermore, we have established a Social Impact Fund to extend the advantages of Bharat's digital public infrastructure to countries in the Global South.

Friends,

I extend my heartfelt gratitude to President Ranil Wickremesinghe and Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth for their pivotal roles in this launch. I take this opportunity to thank the central banks and agencies of the three countries for making this launch a success. Thank you.

DISCLAIMER: This is the approximate translation of PM’s speech. Original speech was delivered in Hindi.

 

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DS/VJ/IG/AK

 



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