The Ministry of Finance's Economic Affairs Deprtment isn't answering the question on whether the recommendations of the Watal Committee report (download), which pushed for a comprehensive overhaul of the regulation of digital payments in India, are binding on it. They possibly can't claim that they are, because the government has missed every deadline set by the report for implementing changes. However, what the government has done, is amend the Payments and Settlements Act to facilitate the creation of the Payments Regulatory Board, as a means of making payments independent of the functions of central banking. In response to an RTI filed by MediaNama, the Department of Economic affairs of the Finance Ministry has also outlined which department is looking into implementing which aspect of the Watal Committee recommendations but declined to specify a timeline for implementation (despite the fact that we requested for one). The Watal Committee report was finalized on 9th December 2016, and each deadline has been missed. This looks it will take a few years to implement, and we still have nothing on ensuring interoperability and improving governance at NPCI and addressing the RBI's lack of neutrality. Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance 12 tasks in all, the most among departments, one of which is shared with MEITY. R1: Make regulation of payments independent from the function of central banking. This included the setting up of the Payments Regulatory Board, independent of the central banking function of the RBI, although, in a conflict between regulations, the RBI…
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