India offers to set up digital payment systems in central Asian nations

It will also help Indian businessmen and students in central Asian countries,” according to a source privy to the information.
 National Security Advisor Ajit Doval. (Photo | Express)
 National Security Advisor Ajit Doval. (Photo | Express)

NEW DELHI:  During the second meeting of India-Central Asia national security advisors and secretaries of security councils in Kazakhstan, India has proposed to set up facilities for sovereign, digital, real-time payment systems in accordance with the needs and requirements of each country.

NSA Ajit Doval attended the meeting on behalf of India. “Such a system will greatly enhance commercial linkages, and also benefit people who may have to travel to India for medical treatment. It will also help Indian businessmen and students in central Asian countries,” according to a source privy to the information.

The meeting also discussed the threat of terrorism, as India and the central Asian countries face common security challenges and threats. “Terrorism, in all its forms and manifestations, continues to constitute one of the most serious threats to international peace and security. Any act of terrorism, regardless of its motivation or cause, is unjustifiable. We offered fully funded capacity-building programmes in a wide range of areas,” said the source. 

The first India-Central Asia NSAs’ meet was held on December 6, 2022, in New Delhi. The meetings follow the agreement reached during the first India-Central Asia Summit held on January 27, 2022. At the summit, it was decided that regular meetings of secretaries of the security councils should be held to discuss issues of regional security. The member countries include Kyrgyz Republic, Republic of Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and India.

The relations between India and the central Asian countries — including in the political, trade, economic, security and defence fields — have transformed into multifaceted and mutually beneficial ties based on mutual trust, understanding and friendship. Emphasis was given on connectivity and economic integration with the central Asian countries as a key priority for India.

“However, while promoting connectivity, it is important to ensure that such initiatives are consultative, transparent and participatory. They should respect sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries. They should also adhere to environmental parameters and financial viability, and not become debt burdens,” the source added.

India is a member of both the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) and the Ashgabat Agreement. Both Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan will be joining the INSTC soon. With this, all the five Central Asian countries will be members of the INSTC.

There was a proposal to set up an India-Central Asia Rare Earths Forum to escape possible partnerships in the domain of rare earth and strategic minerals. This will also facilitate the participation of Indian private companies in this region for investments and joint economic development.

Related Stories

No stories found.

The New Indian Express