RBI proposes UPI payments facility for inbound travellers

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MUMBAI: Taking into account the popularity of the UPI payment system, the Reserve Bank of India said it has proposed to permit all inbound travellers to India to use UPI for their merchant payments while they are in the country.

The RBI governor Shaktikanta Das made the announcement while deliberating upon the outcome of the just-held three-day monetary policy committee meeting.

“To begin with, this facility will be extended to travellers from G-20 countries arriving at select international airports,” Das said.

UPI payments system has become hugely popular for retail digital payments in India, and its adoption is increasing at a rapid pace.

Further, in another announcement, Das said the RBI will launch a pilot project on QR code-based coin vending machines in 12 cities in the country.

“These vending machines will dispense coins against debit to the customer’s account using UPI instead of physical tendering of banknotes. This will enhance the ease of accessibility to coins,” Das explained.

Based on the learnings from the pilot project, Das said guidelines will be issued to banks to promote the distribution of coins using these QR code-based vending machines.

Meanwhile, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the RBI decided to raise the repo rate, the rate at which the RBI lends money to all commercial banks, by 25 basis points to 6.5 per cent.

Since May last year, the RBI has increased the short-term lending rate (repo rate) by 250 basis points, including today’s, to contain inflation.

Also, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has projected India’s real GDP growth to be at 6.4 per cent for the next financial year 2023-24.

The GDP projections for Q1, Q2, Q3, and Q4 2023-24 are estimated at 7.8 per cent, 6.2 per cent, at 6.0 per cent, and 5.8 per cent, respectively, with risks, evenly balanced.

Further, average retail inflation in India is projected to be at 5.3 during the next financial year 2023-24. The projected inflation, Das said, is based on the assumption of a normal monsoon.

The inflation in Q1 2023-24 is expected at 5.0 per cent, Q2 at 5.4 per cent, Q3 at 5.4 per cent, and Q4 at 5.6 per cent, respectively.

For the current financial year 2022-23, inflation is projected at 6.5 per cent, with an average of 5.7 per cent in the January-March 2023 quarter, he said. (ANI)

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