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India to record highest number of cashless transactions in world: Jaishankar at Raisina@Sydney

Sydney: India is moving ahead to record the largest number of cashless transactions in the world, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Saturday at the Raisina @ Sydney Business Breakfast.
"If you look at our cashless transactions, the UPI, I think we record the largest number of cashless transactions in the world. So there's been a kind of a technology leapfrogging in the psyche of people, and that's been actually a very big difference," Jaishankar said at the Raisina@Sydney Business Breakfast. Raisina@Sydney Business Breakfast was organized jointly by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) and India's Observer Research Foundation (ORF) at the InterContinental Hotel in Sydney.
"The digital was ensuring the integrity of delivery and transaction that would not have been possible equally on the financial side because we encouraged people to open bank accounts, sometimes bank accounts with no money. But we were, again, during the same period, put money into the bank accounts of 415,000,000 people who are the lowest income in the country. And if you ask me, how did you get through COVID, I cannot overstate the importance of financially supporting people and feeding people and ensuring that this works on the ground," he said.
Jaishankar also stated that digital governance has now become the basic mechanism today to do socioeconomic delivery.
"India is trying to demonstrate that the country can construct a social, comprehensive social welfare system, even at the scale of income. And the scale of income is USD 2,000 per capita," he said.
Talking about the social programs, Jaishankar said that in the last four years, India has been able to cover about 500 million people in health schemes, about the same number covered by pension schemes.
"There was a program to replace firewood with cooking gas. And the cooking gas, the initial lot of cooking gas, you get free of cost. Now, that program was as big as 80 million people. We have a housing program, a housing program. We have already delivered 30 million houses, and at five people, a family in India, which means 150,000,000 people have been covered," Jaishankar said.
"So I'm giving you these numbers because it actually tells you the scale which digital backbone makes possible.We couldn't have done this ten years ago because we didn't have that backbone, and we didn't have the strategic understanding to activate and utilize that backbone. And you can see this in the lifestyle of people as well today," he added.
He also said that Australia will get really deployable 5G technology from India this year and which is something that will be of great global interest. "Today you can see the change in infrastructure in India. The transformation has happened because of an integrated infrastructure policy," he added.
Raisina@Sydney Conference, which began today with 'Business Breakfast', will involve ministerial and high-level government representations as well as participation from industry and civil society.
This mega event will also include panel and keynote addresses by leading regional think tanks on issues ranging from geopolitics to technology and economics.
After the keynote address of Jaishankar, a panel session will be held that would cover topics like "Next steps in the Australia-India economic partnership: stability, security and sovereignty," and it will be addressed by keynote speakers: Vivek Lall, Chief Executive, General Atomics Global Corporation; Jodi McKay, National Chair, Australia-India Business Council; Vikram Singh, Vice President, and Country Head - ANZ, Tata Consultancy Services and facilitated by Bec Shrimpton, Director, The Sydney Dialogue, Australian Strategic Policy Institute. (ANI)

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