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RBI to adopt 'graded approach' to introduce digital currency

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Mumbai, May 27: The Reserve Bank of India will adopt a graded approach for launching the central bank's digital currency, announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman while presenting the Budget 2022-23.

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The introduction of CBDC (Central Bank Digital Currency) was announced in the Union Budget 2022-23. An appropriate amendment to the RBI Act, 1934 has been included in the Finance Bill, 2022, RBI said in its annual report for 2021-22 released on Friday.

The Finance Bill, 2022, has been enacted, providing a legal framework for the launch of CBDC.

"The Reserve Bank is engaged in the introduction of a central bank digital currency in India. The design of CBDC needs to be in conformity with the stated objectives of monetary policy, financial stability and efficient operations of currency and payment systems," it said in the report.

The Reserve Bank has been looking at the pros and cons of the introduction of CBDC in India, adding that it proposes to adopt a graded approach to the introduction of CBDC, going step by step through stages of proof of concept pilots and the launch.

Proof of concept refers to an exercise in which work is focused on determining whether an idea can be turned into reality or verifying if the idea will function as envisioned.

RBI said the design of CBDC needs to be in conformity with the "stated objectives of monetary policy, financial stability" and "efficient operations of currency and payment systems".

Accordingly, the appropriate design elements of CBDCs that could be implemented with little or no disruption are under examination, said the report.

After the budget announcement on February 1, RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das said that the Reserve Bank does not want to rush and carefully examines all aspects before introducing the CBDC.

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