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India will come out of current global turmoil, move on path of sustained growth: FM

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Washington: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has exuded confidence that India will come out of the current global turmoil and move on the path of sustained recovery on the back of rapid digitisation and steps taken by the government.

She said India has been able to set up a global benchmark in digitisation in areas of payment, healthcare, education and regulatory compliances, and this is a confidence booster for the economy.

The economy and businesses are doing well because of steps taken by the government in last two years, Sitharaman told students of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies during an interactive session on India’s unique Digital Public Goods on Thursday.

“I would think that the economy’s revival is on a sustained path,” she said, adding that the government has taken on board the impact of the global turmoil on demand, exports, and the rupee vis-a-vis the US dollar.

“There is a sense of confidence in India that we will go through this and we will be able to still perform. It’s because of the way in which technology has been used for the public good,” she said.

She further said the credit availability is no longer an issue as even small businesses are getting loans sitting at home.

These are actually great lubricants when the economy is looking to find ways in which it can come out of the lockdown or the difficulties of a largely extraneous problem, she said.

Addressing students and scholars, Sitharaman said India’s public goods are available for countries which need them. “For example, because of CoWIN, Indians travelling abroad don’t need any paper to show they’re vaccinated. They can show it on phone. Now, CoWIN app is available for any country which wants to use it.”

Responding to a question, Sitharaman said the push for digitisation between 2014 and 2019 helped fight the economic crisis during COVID-19 and thereafter as well.

“The push that was given between 2014 and 2019 actually has helped us. And helped us in many unbelievable ways. We were able to provide relief immediately during the long lockdown,” she said.

Similarly, the public distribution system was digitised and during this period, India also brought in One Nation One Ration Card scheme.

“We believe that the target approach was possible because we were technologically well-networked. And because we were technologically well- networked, and we had authenticated identities of people already well established…we reached out to the section when needed,” she said.

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