Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das said CBDC is going to be a major transformation of the way business is done -- the way transactions are conducted and highlighted that RBI is among the very few central banks in the world which have taken this initiative. While addressing FIBAC on Wednesday, Governor Shaktikanta Das said, "Yesterday, we launched the trial of our digital currency, Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) project. It was indeed a landmark moment in the history of currency in our country. Going forward, it will be a landmark moment. It will be a landmark achievement so far as the functioning of the entire economy is concerned."
FIBAC is an annual banking conference, organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and Indian Banks' Association (IBA).
At the conference, Das said, "Will to try and launch the CBDC in a full-fledged manner in the near future," he said. CBDC is a digital form of currency notes issued by a central bank.
Das announced that the retail part of the CBDC trial will be launched later this month and added, "We will announce the date separately, but I don't want to give a target date by which time the CBDCs will be launched in our full-scale manner, because this is something where we have to proceed very carefully. This is the first time the world is doing it. We don't want to be in a great hurry, we want to learn from the experience."
Das also announced that end-to-end digitisation of Kisan Credit Card (KCC) loans will be launched on a nationwide basis during the calendar year 2023. "Based on the learnings and experience of the pilot project of end-to-end digitisation of KCC loans, our endeavour would be to launch it in a full-scale manner if everything goes alright, not only for the farmers' loans, but also for the SME loans. We hope to launch it on a nationwide basis during the calendar year 2023," he said.
RBI started the pilot project of end-to-end digitisation of Kisan Credit Card (KCC) loans in September 2022 in selected districts of Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu with Union Bank of India and Federal Bank, respectively, as partner banks and with active cooperation of the respective state governments.
"This pilot project on digitalisation of KCC lending is expected to play a pivotal role in facilitating credit flow to the unserved and underserved rural population by making the credit process faster and more efficient. When fully implemented, this has the potential to transform the rural credit delivery system of the country," the Governor added.
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