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NRB Governor Adhikari attends 43rd SEACEN BOG Meet, 59th SEACEN Governors' Conference in India

B360
B360 February 23, 2024, 5:53 pm
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KATHMANDU: Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) Governor Maha Prasad Adhikari attended the 43rd SEACEN Board of Governors' Meeting and the 59th SEACEN Governors' Conference/High-Level Seminar in Mumbai, India on February 15 and 16.

The seminar, titled 'Navigating Economic Headwinds and Advancing Financial Inclusion: Perspectives and Challenges', was concluded on the first day of the conference, which was organised by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). The SEACEN Centre's Executive Director, Mangal Goswami, delivered a welcome speech, while Shaktikanta Das, the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, emphasized the conference's purpose and significance. 

A panel discussion was held on the occasion, covering three sessions: 'The Drivers and Road to Achieving Inflation Targets - Challenges Ahead', 'Challenges and Implications of Higher for Longer Interest Rates', and 'Leaving No One Behind: The Role of Digital Public Infrastructure in Financial Inclusion'. The discussion delved into the challenges faced by the global economy in the post-Covid-19 period, including inflation, high-interest rates, and geopolitical tensions.

Governor Adhikari participated as a panellist in the third session of the conference. He noted that Nepal has made considerable progress in establishing a 'Digital Foundation' and announced that by 2026, it would prepare to conduct a pilot test of the 'Central Bank Electronic Currency'. Governors and senior officials from SEACEN member organisations also participated in the conference.

On the second day, Governor Adhikari took part in the 43rd SEACEN BOG Meeting, chaired by RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das. During the meeting, Executive Director Goswami provided an update on the activities in 2023 and the status of the current strategic plan's implementation. The meeting discussed proposed training and research for 2024, budget, organisational results, and more. Proposals were approved based on the participants' opinions and suggestions. Governor Adhikari also gave a speech on the occasion.

In addition, Governor Adhikari held separate bilateral meetings with the governors of the RBI and the National Bank of Cambodia, as well as the Managing Director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore. It was announced that the 60th SEACEN Governors' Conference/High-Level Seminar and the 43rd SEACEN Board of Governors' Meeting would be held in South Korea. After the conference, Governor Adhikari returned home on February 20.

NRB, RBI sign terms for NPI-UPI integration

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Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) and Reserve Bank of India (RBI)  agreed on the Terms of Reference (TOR) for the integration of the National Payments Interface (NPI) of Nepal and the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) of India.

The TOR for this bilateral agreement was signed in Mumbai on February 15, in the presence of NRB Governor Adhikari and RBI Governor Das. Tulashi Prasad Ghimire, Executive Director of the Foreign Exchange Management Department, signed on behalf of NRB, while Gunveer Singh, the Chief General Manager-in-Charge of the Department of Payment and Settlement Systems, represented the RBI.

The first meeting of the Joint Steering Committee, which is related to international electronic payment and formed between the NRB and the RBI, also took place on this occasion. The integration of the NPI and UPI payment systems is expected to facilitate easy, accessible, quick, and secure international electronic payment transactions between the two countries. This will simplify the process for citizens of Nepal and India to pay for healthcare, travel expenses, and remittances.

During Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal's visit to India, a memorandum of understanding was exchanged in June 2023 between Nepal Clearing House Limited (NCHL) and India's NPCI International Payments Limited (NIPL) for the interconnection of the NPI and UPI.

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