Consultants Review Team
Prior to the first Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion meet before the G20, scheduled from 9 to 11 January at Kolkata, the G20 leaders on Sunday, discussed the high remittances cost workers have to bear and steps for reduction of the cost from the current levels.
Currently, the average remittance cost stands at around 6% and discussions are on to reduce this cost to around 3% by 2027.
"Workers and laborers employed outside India have to bear a high remittance cost, and G20 leaders have attached a lot of significance to reduction of this rate.
"The aim is to bring it down to an average of 3 percent by 2027," said Chanchal Sarkar, Economic Advisor, Ministry of Finance, Department of Economic Affairs.
Remittance costs generally include the commission charged by the sending agent and the currency conversion fee charged by the local converter while transferring the amount to the beneficiary.
Along with financial inclusion principles and finance availability for Small and Medium Enterprises, the issue of high remittance costs will also be taken up during the G20 Meeting Sarkar added.
The three-day event at Kolkata will also feature symposiums, exhibitions, and a domestic outreach program on digital financial literacy. Around 1,800 students from various schools will be included in the program.
"The symposiums will deliberate on unlocking the digital financial inclusion infrastructure and the policy perspective. The focus of the meeting will be on the digital financial inclusion principles, reduction of remittance costs, and finance availability for SMEs," Sarkar told reporters here," Sarkar said.
He also added that around 12 international speakers will attend the G20 event, but did not elaborate on their names.
Institutions like National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) are also expected to present their innovative model of financial products and services in rural areas.
"Indications are that West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee might attend the G20 meeting on January 9," a senior finance ministry official was quoted by the news agency PTI.