An Indian Vice Chair at International Telecommunications Union Focal Group on Digital Fiat Currency
After the 17 October 2017 announcement by the International Telecommunications Union that the ITU Focus Group on Digital Fiat Currency (DFC) is tackling regulation, technical dynamics and security, (1) Bank Sentral Republik Indonesia announced the following day that a partnership has been established between ecurrency, the company supported by 32 central banks to establish the technology for DFCs, and paypro, a company in Indonesia delivering a “high-security universal digital payment instrument”. (2) In February 2017 The financial services authority in Indonesia had begun distribution of non-cash social assistance in food aid, family hope and smart Indonesia programmes along with providing financial education. Average financial literacy in Indonesia is below 30 percent. In August the Finance Ministry clarified that persons with severe disability, neglected elderly, those with chronic diseases; isolated and vulnerable communities and region with unavailable infrastructures to support non-cash social assistance distribution would continue getting cash. As far as digital Rupiah in Indonesia is concerned it will surely be a short step from hesitant first steps through public spending of the e-Rupiah to full reserve banking and replacement of private bank created money with the sovereign digital fiat currency.
Mandar Deshpande, Department of Telecommunication, Ministry of Communications, India is one of the six vice chairmen of the ITU focus group, which is chaired by David Wen, chief scientist of ecurrency.
India will surely be seeing what Indonesia is doing and get the message, hopefully with bells on in terms of rapid creation of local capacity at the Gram Panchayat and Gram Sabha level to issue and spend not only the (digital) e-Rupee through local branches of the RBI, but also through the local branches of the RBI of physical coins and notes, through local indigenous minting and printing of currency. The time is now for imaginative and far reaching, revolution in money creation to boot out the private commercial and nationalised banks and put the sovereign back in control of who creates money and why and what for. This was discussed in a previous article that should serve as a draft contribution to a policy to make money creation and spending a truly democratic endeavour in line with the constitution of India. (3) In the chicken and egg world of money of landlessness only those who have the money will be healthy and wealthy; thus creating money is the precondition for the ability of the landless majority of Indians to participate in our own local economy with dignity; especially in the age of man-made global warming and the sixth biodiversity extinction.