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NEW DELHI : Union minister Ashwini Vaishnaw has urged banks in India to create a digital platform that is as powerful as a unified payments interface (UPI) for providing quick credit to micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in India.

“Can we create a platform as powerful, as good, as seamless and as digital as the UPI platform for providing very quick and easy credit to MSMEs and people who are at the bottom of the pyramid," Vaishnaw, the minister of electronics and information technology (MeitY), asked at MeitY’s Azadi Ka Digital Mahotsav: Digital Payments Utsav in New Delhi on 5 December.

“I don’t know what the challenges are. I don’t know how difficult or easy that is. But you have today a very good ecosystem of Aadhaar, mobile phones, UPI, and DigiLocker. Practically everything that you need to create it is there," he said. Vaishnaw asked bankers to come up with concepts to create such a platform over the next three months. “ I’ll be very happy to spend one full day with you to look at the concepts that you bring," he said.

MSMEs in India are staring at a credit gap of almost $380 billion, according to a World Bank estimate, said a June 2021 report by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. They account for 30% of the country’s GDP in 2019-20, according to data released by the Press Information Bureau in August.

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