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Global Fintech Fest 2022: India’s commitment to sustainable development

22nd September 2022
Sheryl Miles

The Indian Finance Minister and Reserve Bank of India Governor reiterated their commitment towards sustainable development speaking at the Global Fintech Fest 2022 (GFF 2022), held 20 – 22 September 2022.

The theme of India's fintech conference is, ‘Creating a Sustainable Financial World: Global, Inclusive, Green.’

Inaugurating GFF 2022, Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, Indian Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs, said: "We have led the way for an inclusive financial world through a presence-less layer, paperless layer, cashless layer, and consent layer. These four layers for inclusion are capturing the attention of the world. We are focussed on creating a sustainable financial world which is global, green, and inclusive.”

"Indian regulators started emphasising on green and sustainable practices in 2007. However, it was only in 2015 that the RBI included lending to social infrastructure and small renewable energy projects within the priority sector lending," she added.

The Day 1 of GFF 2022 commenced with a session on ‘Creating A Sustainable Financial World’. This was followed by multiple other sessions throughout the day on themes such as sustainability, financial inclusion, payments, ONDC, fintech chatbots etc.

A session on ‘Fostering fintech-innovation – the way forward between India and Germany’ was also hosted on the first day.

Addressing delegates, Shri Shaktikanta Das, Governor, Reserve Bank of India, marked the theme of his talk as ‘Fintech as a Force Multiplier’: "Technology, innovation and fintech are working in tandem and contributing to the dynamism of the sector. In our journey towards higher level of sustainable development and financial inclusion these forces morphed into force multipliers,” Shri Das said. 

“The next decade of finance will be more focused on two central themes - sustainable development and technology-led innovations transforming the lives of the common people,” he added.

On the second day of the conference, Shri Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Government of India, said: “India is creating one of the largest datasets programs where anonymised non-personal data will be available on a platform for the entire AI ecosystem. The use of these data sets will be allowed only to Indian start-ups and companies,”

Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), Chairperson, Ms. Madhabi Puri Buch laid down some core principles that guide regulators, while delivering her keynote address at the Global Fintech Fest 2022 (GFF 2022): “There are some key principles that guide a regulator. These include anonymity, transparency, financial inclusion, and structural vulnerability,” she said.

“There is likely to be a regulatory gap when there is something new and innovative that happens in the market. It is up to the regulator to keep pace with that. Our intention is to narrow that regulatory gap in the start-up ecosystem,” Ms. Buch added.

Organised and presented by the Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Government of India, Reserve Bank of India, International Financial Services Centres Authority (IFSCA), National Payments Council of India, the Payments Council of India (PCI) and the Fintech Convergence Council (FCC), the Global Fintech Fest aims to demonstrate India's fintech ecosystem to the world, creating solutions for 6 billion global consumers and driving financial inclusion adoption for the 1.4 billion unbanked adults at an even higher pace.

This is the third edition of the Global Fintech Fest, and the first one where domain experts are participating from across the globe in-person and virtually.

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