Thursday, February 9, 2023

G20 leaders discuss financial inclusion at 3-day Kolkata meeting

20 leaders are understood to have discussed a wide range of issues on digital financial inclusion, remittances and availability of finance for SMEs during a three-day meeting in Kolkata, a senior official said on Wednesday.
Delegates of member and invitee countries and officials of international organisations deliberated upon leveraging digital public infrastructure for financial inclusion and productivity gains, he said.
“Discussions took place on the progress towards reducing cost of remittances and innovative payment services to bring down the rates,” said Chanchal Sarkar, Economic Advisor, Ministry of Finance, Department of Economic Affairs.
The G20 leaders also delved into SME best practices and innovative instruments to overcome common constraints in small and medium-sized enterprises’ financing, he told reporters on the concluding day of the first Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion meeting of the G20, which got underway on January 9.
The member and invitee countries shared updates on the progress made on the Financial Inclusion Action Plan (FIAP) 2020 and the road ahead for the FIAP 2023, the official said.
The three-day event also featured symposiums, exhibitions and a domestic outreach programme on digital financial literacy involving over 1,800 students from various schools, Sarkar said. “We have gathered notable insights and valuable database from the discussions during the sessions… In order to make the post-pandemic recovery more inclusive and sustainable, financial inclusion is going to be a key enabler,” Sarkar had said on the first day.
He had also said that G20 leaders attach a lot of importance to the high remittance cost for workers outside India, and efforts are underway to bring the rate down to an average of 3 per cent by 2027.
At present, the remittance cost, on an average, stands at around 6 per cent of each transaction.
India assumed the presidency of the influential bloc G20 at its annual summit in Bali in November last year.

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