Arun Jaitley Current Affairs

Tez: Google’s UPI-based digital payment service launched

Tech Giant Google’s Unified Payments Interface (UPI) based digital payment service Tez (meaning fast in Hindi) was launched by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in New Delhi.

With this, Google become latest international giant to enter into India’s fast growing digital payment ecosystem.

Key Facts

Google Tez is standalone payments application, available on Android and iOS. The app can be used to pay for movie tickets, utility bills, and make other transactions online.  It supports several local languages including Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Marathi, Tamil and Telugu and will work with 55 banks.

Google has partnered with Axis, HDFC Bank, ICICI, and State Bank of India (SBI) for backend processing. On security front, all transactions on Google Tez app are guarded by Tez Shield to detect fraud, prevent hacking, and verify identity.

Unified Payments Interface (UPI)

UPI is a payments protocol built by government-backed National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and regulated by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). It facilitates the instant fund transfer between two bank accounts on the mobile platform using unique virtual address without putting details of card details, net banking, IFSC code, wallet password etc.

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16th meeting of FSDC held in New Delhi

The 16th meeting of the Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC) was held in New Delhi. It was chaired by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. 

It was attended by heads of all financial sector regulators as its members. It reviewed the major issues and challenges facing the economy.

Key Highlights of the meeting 
  • Indian Economy: India appears to be much better placed because of improvement in its macroeconomic fundamental despite fragile world economy. It reviewed the major issues and challenges facing the economy.
  • Banking: The status of NPAs of public sector banks and measures taken by the government and the RBI for tackling the stressed assets were reviewed. It also discussed about further action to be taken in this regard.
  • Financial inclusion/ financial literacy: Discussed about the various initiatives taken by the government and regulators for promoting financial inclusion/ literacy. It also discussed further measures for promoting the same.
  • Technology: Discussed issues pertaining to Fintech, digital innovations and cyber security. It also discussed on further steps to be taken.
  • Demonetisation: It will help in eliminating the shadow economy and tax evasion. It will have a positive impact on GDP and fiscal consolidation in the long run.

Besides, a brief report on the activities undertaken by the FSDC sub-committee chaired by RBI Governor Urjit Patel was placed before the FSDC meeting.

About Financial Stability and Development Council

  • The Central Government had established Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC) in December 2010 with the Finance Minister as it Chairman.
  • The idea to create it was first mooted by the Raghuram Rajan Committee on Financial Sector Reforms in 2008.
  • It is a super regulatory body for regulating financial sector which is a vital for bringing healthy and efficient financial system in the economy.
  • The FSDC envisages to strengthen and institutionalise mechanism of (i) maintaining financial stability, (ii) Financial sector development, (iii) inter-regulatory coordination along with monitoring macro-prudential regulation of economy.
Composition of FSDC
  • Chairman: Union Finance Minister.
  • Members: Heads of the financial sector regulatory authorities (i.e, RBI, SEBI, IRDA, PFRDA), Finance Secretary and/or Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs (Union Finance Ministry), Secretary, Department of Financial Services, and Chief Economic Adviser.
  • FSDC can invite experts to its meeting if required.
Two Core functions
  • Act as an apex level forum to strengthen and institutionalize the mechanism for maintaining financial stability.
  • Enhance inter-regulatory coordination and promoting financial sector development in the country.

Other functions

  • Focus on financial literacy and financial inclusion.
  • Monitor macro-prudential supervision of the economy.
  • Assess the functioning of the large financial conglomerates.

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