‘Indian Economy Has Made Great Progress In Last Five Years, Growth Will Keep Rising’: Mastercard Co-PresidentPrime Minister Narendra Modi with Finance Mnister Arun Jaitley.  (Sanjeev Verma/Hindustan Times via Getty Images) 

Ari Sarker, co-president, Asia Pacific for Mastercard speaking about the Indian economy and the company’s recent investment of $1 billion in India said that the outlook for the country remains extremely positive, The Hindu has reported.

He added that the economy has made great progress in the last five years, there will be more capacity addition and the growth will continue to increase.

Commenting on Indian economy and its future outlook he said that India has crossed a certain watermark and has gone beyond of the point of no return. He added the last 3-5 years have been a massive inclusion and millions have come into the financial net, the role of wallets is driving more consumers to adopt digital payments.

This can be attributed to demonetisation which was a massive ‘booster dose’, people who were already connected to the banking system but traditionally in the cash economy and converted to the digital economy after the demonetisation has interestingly stayed digital and not gone back to cash post demonetisation.

Sharing his views on digital payments he said UPI, IMPS have scaled up dramatically in the last few years where more people are connecting to the digital economy. “The acceptance environment is going through dramatic change. Pre-demonetisation, only about 1.3-1.4 million merchants accepted electronic payments. Today, we are at 5 million card based terminals.”

Upon being asked about the investment right before elections and the uncertainty “India is in for coalition politics. We have seen it for 30 years and the last 5 years were an exception in that sense. But coalition politics is here to stay. My sense is that if the mandate is too fractured, then I think there are concerns.”

Speaking on private investments he added that even though the economy over the last few years has sustained itself with growing consumer spending the private investment cycle has not picked up for reasons that are the NPA issues, massive hurdles in infra projects, under utilisation resources. He added that this is slowly changing with the massive structural changes in the last five years such as GST, the IBC and the bank balance sheet clean up.

Also commenting on data localisation rules of RBI, he said there are a bunch of questions that are about the data mirroring and data exclusively to India and are in a constant in talks with RBI and is encouraged that they have made significant inroads where they were in October last year.

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