US Treasury Secretary Geithner meets Manmohan Singh

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New Delhi, Apr 6 (ANI): US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, who is in New Delhi to launch a new bilateral economic dialogue with India with a focus on macroeconomic stability, financial markets and infrastructure financing, met the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, today

Geithner, who arrived here along with Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Donald Kohn, is also expected to discuss ways to rebalance the global economy.

The discussions will complement a strategic dialogue program that the United States shares with China, but will be more limited in scope, according to U.S. treasury officials.

The two sides are also expected to discuss infrastructure financing, with the Treasury offering expertise in helping India develop a municipal bond market, and India sharing experience in private-sector infrastructure development.

Before meeting Dr. Singh, Geithner visited a storefront mobile banking site on the outskirts of the national capital that is affiliated with Eko, a nonprofit organisation, and the State Bank of India.

Geithner said he wanted to show how India was coming up with creative solutions to its development problems.

The dusty village of Samkalka has no formal bank branch, but some of its shop keepers and stall owners act as "human ATMs" for the Eko project, taking deposits and providing withdrawals and making electronic payments for customers.

The transactions are recorded using mobile phones and a special encryption pad.

The project aims to try to take advantage of a deep penetration of mobile phone usage in India. According to Central Bank of India data as of a year ago, India had 403 million mobile phone users, but 187 million people without bank accounts.

On Wednesday, Geithner will hold a roundtable discussion with US financial companies and Indian entrepreneurs in Mumbai. (ANI)

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