Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday said that India is setting the global benchmarks on the digital front and that there is a sense of confidence in the country that it will be able to face geopolitical and economic uncertainties and still perform.
Answering a question on India’s economic prospects in the face of global uncertainty, Sitharaman said India is now setting global standards and countries around the world recognise this scale of achievement. She made these remarks after an event at Johns Hopkins University event in Washington on the topic “Technology, Finance and Governance: The Multiplier Effect”.
“There were times when global benchmarks and global standards were ones India looked up to… but on the digital front, be it payment, be it identity, health or education, India has actually set the benchmarks. There are countries which recognise that this scale of achievement is absolute watertight proof that it is unfailing over the years…,” the minister said in response to the question of India’s economic resilience amid global uncertainty.
“There are countries which recognise that this scale of achievement is absolute watertight proof that it is unfailing over the years, over the numbers…,” she added.
The finance minister explained that the Indian economy is doing good business largely because the confidence in what has happened in the last two years is “palatably felt.” She said the Indian economy’s revival is on a sustained path and it will continue to be resilient in the face of a possible global recession.
“Because of the global recession, if my demand is going fall, exports are going to suffer and because of the strong dollar my Indian rupee would suffer — all this taken on board — there is a sense of confidence in India, we will go through this and we will be able to still perform,” she said.
In her prepared address, Sitharaman earlier said there were apprehensions in India after the government started the digitalisation of the economy in 2014 but the initial inhibitions of people were removed with the help of digital technology.
“There was this apprehension that you may want to do a lot of things to get technology to people, you may invest to bring technology to people but people are not going to be ready to adapt. People may not be comfortable. One they may not be ready to use such gadgets. The general sense of condescension that how will villagers…that kind of (mentality),” she said.
Explaining the Modi government’s approach, she said good governance in India is being achieved by the use of technology and a certain transformation has happened due to ramping up the capacity for digitalisation of the economy.
She said that a certain transformation has happened in India in the recent past and people have adapted to the change with great ease.