A Central Bank Digital Currency for India?

We review arguments for CBDC issuance in India. These include facilitating payments, enhancing financial inclusion, enabling the central bank and government to retain control of the payments system, facilitating cross-border payments, reducing dependence on the dollar-dominated global payments system, providing an encompassing platform for digital financial innovation.  We then compare progress in India with other countries.  In setting an end 2022 target date for issuance, India is in line with the other BRICS, but not with other countries with comparable levels of per capita GDP, which have been more reluctant to commit to a date.  Nor is it in line with other countries with comparably independent central banks, which have been more cautious about setting a deadline.  Finally, we sketch a roadmap and timeline for India’s CBDC project going forward.


Barry Eichengreen,  Poonam Gupta,  Tim Marple
May 2022