Maldives plans RuPay launch to strengthen ties with India

  • Maldives plans to launch India's RuPay service to facilitate payments in rupees, aiming to strengthen the Maldivian Rufiyaa. The move is expected to save almost 50% of the annual $1.5 million import bill from India and China.

Livemint
First Published24 May 2024
Maldives' President Mohamed Muizzu speaks at a rally
Maldives’ President Mohamed Muizzu speaks at a rally(AFP)

Maldives has planned to launch India's RuPay service amid soaring ties between the two countries. However, the launch date has not been declared yet.

"We are currently engaged in discussions with India to explore avenues for facilitating payments in rupees," the Maldivian minister said.

RuPay, a product of the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), is the first of its global card payment network in India, with wide acceptance at ATMs, POS devices, and e-commerce websites across India.

A Maldivian minister said the move will bolster "Maldivian Rufiyaa".

Maldives matters: India’s moving to foil Chinese designs

Minister of Economic Development and Trade Mohamed Saeed said, "Addressing the dollar issue and reinforcing the MVR is a top priority for the current administration".

In August 2022, the then President of Maldives Ibrahim Mohamed Solih said, “The two leaders welcomed the ongoing work to operationalize the usage of Rupay Cards in Maldives and agreed to consider further measures to boost bilateral travel and tourism and economic inter-linkages".

Maldives says its pilots cannot fly aircraft donated by India

On Wednesday, Maldives said that both India and China have agreed to cooperate in efforts to pay for imports in their respective countries’ currency instead of the US dollar. Saeed said he met with the Indian High Commissioner Munu Mahawar two weeks ago, who in turn, said that New Delhi would support and cooperate in arranging for the settlement of import payments in Indian Rupee.

'True gesture of goodwill': Maldives thanks India for extending budget support

Saeed said the move is likely to help Male save almost 50% of the annual $1.5 million import bill from the two countries.

In July 2023, the Government of India declared that Maldives was among the 22 countries that were permitted by the Reserve Bank of India to open Special Rupee Vostro Accounts (SRVAs) as part of efforts to promote bilateral trade in local currencies.

Over the last few years, multiple banks and payment companies from across various countries have partnered with NPCI International Payments Ltd (NIPL), the international arm of NPCI, to accept UPI and RuPay in one form or the other.

 

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