NEW DELHI: PM Narendra Modi on Monday said Indian tourists will likely give priority to destinations with UPI linkwhen launching the payment service in Sri Lanka and Mauritius, together with Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe and Mauritian Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth.
After this launch, UPI QR code can be used in two countries while Rupay cards can also be used in Mauritius. Visitors to Mauritius can obtain Rupay cards from local banks for use in India, the RBI said.
The Prime Minister, in his speech, said the launch marks a special day for three friendly nations – India, Sri Lanka and Mauritius – with the comments coming amid New Delhi's tense relations with the Maldives in recent weeks. Presenting it as a success of Global South cooperation, Modi said the launch of the fintech product will further strengthen cross-border payments and connections. “India's UPI today takes on a new role – 'Uniting Partners with India',” he said.
The Prime Minister underlined that India's policy is “Neighborhood First”. “Our maritime vision is SAGAR, meaning security and growth for all in the region. India does not see its development separately from its neighbors.”
Recalling India's support to neighbors and friends in cases of natural disasters and health-related issues, Modi said, “India was the first to respond and will continue to be.” He also highlighted the special attention to the concerns of the Global South, even during India's G20 presidency, and mentioned the creation of a “Social Impact Fund” to extend the benefits of India's public digital infrastructure to countries in the Global South.
Referring to the “vision document” that was adopted during the Sri Lankan President's last visit, the Prime Minister highlighted strengthening financial connectivity as its main component. Last year, Lankan authorities added the Indian rupee to a list of reserve currencies, a move that came after New Delhi played a crucial role at the IMF in securing a rescue package.
Sri Lanka has joined Nepal and Bhutan among neighbors where India's UPI has a link with local fast payment counterparts. RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das told reporters that Mauritius is the first African nation with which a UPI partnership has been established. “Mauritius can act as a gateway to other countries in Africa,” he said, describing it as a work in progress.