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“Lanka should fast track digitalisation”

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Dr. Nandalal Weerasinghe
Dr. Nandalal Weerasinghe

Sri Lanka should fast-track the ‘National digital identity’ system and link it to financial services as it could bring huge economic benefits to the country said Central Bank Governor Dr. P. Nandalal Weerasinghe

He was sad to note that Sri Lanka has been a little late in following the footsteps of India in implementing a successful digital identification system. He added, “Once we do that it would be a very useful instrument and it would help financial inclusions.”

“There would be massive efficiency gains and better oversight of financial transactions through the implementation of a digital identification system linked to the existing financial infrastructure.”

Dr. Weerasinghe was speaking on an IMF-organized panel on the “Strengthening Institutions post COVID-19” on January 6 in New Delhi.

The Unique Identification Authority of India has improved financial inclusion even amongst illiterate and rural populations within India. The system has been stress tested with hundreds of millions of Indians and would be freely available to the government of Sri Lanka if requested from India.

Dr. Weerasinghe insisted that there would be massive gains in terms of efficiency. Dr. Weerasinghe insisted that the gains to society extended beyond the financial regulatory sphere and into other realms of government.

“Digital ID and enabling it throughout other government services is essential. I see the value in terms of our usage.”

ICTA has lagged in taking quick action of implementing an Aaadhar system through Indian assistance. Dr. Weerasinghe said, “One of the key issues for the future in Sri Lanka is digital ID as Sri Lanka desperately tries to digitize the financial sector.”

Dr. Weerasinghe also reiterated calls both local and international to counter the US dollar hegemony in cross-border debt arrangements.

He noted that with the broader acceptance of Indian Rupees in the local economy there was going to be a leadership role played by the Reserve Bank of India in terms of Central Bank digital currency. (TP)

Monday, January 9, 2023 – 01:00

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