A Central Bank Digital Currency For India?





We review arguments for CBDC issuance in India. These include facilitating payments, enhancing financial inclusion, enabling the central bank and government to retain control of the payments system, facilitating cross-border transactions, reducing dependence on the dollar-dominated global payments system, and providing an encompassing platform for digital financial innovation. We then compare progress in India with other countries. In setting an end-2022 target date for issuance, India is in line with the other BRICS, but not with other countries with comparable levels of per capita GDP, which have been more reluctant to commit to a date. Nor is it in line with other countries with comparably independent central banks, which have been more cautious about setting a deadline. Finally, we sketch a roadmap and timeline for India’s CBDC project going forward.


Central Bank Digital Currency, Financial Inclusion, Payments, Financial innovation

Authors Bio

Barry Eichengreen, University of California, Berkeley

Barry Eichengreen is the George C. Pardee and Helen N. Pardee Professor of Economics and Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley


Poonam Gupta, National Council of Applied Economic Research

Poonam Gupta is the Director General of NCAER and a member of the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM).

Tim Marple, University of California, Berkeley

Tim Marple is an Intelligence Analyst with Google and has earned his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley


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