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Government forms panel on fintech

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Following the announcement in the Budget 2018-19, the finance ministry has set up an eight-member panel to consider making regulations on financial technology (fintech) more flexible and promote financial inclusion. The panel will be headed by the economic affairs secretary and have secretaries from the departments of electronics and IT, financial services, micro, small and medium enterprises, apart from the chairperson of the Central Board of Excise and Customs, chief executive officer of the Unique Identification Authority of India and a deputy governor of the central bank as members.

The joint secretary handling the investment division of the department of economic affairs will be the convener of the panel, which may also invite participation from the private sector.

The objective of the panel is also to consider various issues relating to the development of the fintech space and “generate enhanced entrepreneurship in an area where India has distinctive comparative strengths vis-à-vis other emerging economies”, the finance ministry said in a statement.

The committee will also focus on how fintech can be leveraged in critical sectors of the economy, especially financing of MSMEs, affordable housing, delivery of e-services to vulnerable sections, provision of land record management and other government services, access and adoption of digital payments and to study developments in these areas.

The panel would also analyse the regulatory regime spread over different entities that has impacted the growth of fintech in India and also consider international cooperation opportunities in the space with countries such as Singapore, the UK, China, etc according to the statement.

According to the panel’s terms of reference, it “will develop regulatory interventions, e.g. regulatory sandbox model that will enhance the role of fintech in the sectors identified for focused interventions.”

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