Islamabad [Pakistan (ANI): Noted Pakistan i foreign policy expert UzairYounus has said that his first-handexperience of the expanding digital footprint in India during a recent visit to the country made him feellike he was visiting a state from the future.
Looking at the well-maintained dargah in his ancestral village , which is visited primarily by Hindus , hesaid that Pakistan is are being fed the “lies ofhate for the sake of politics”.Uzair Younus , the director of the Pakistan Initiative at the Atlantic Council’s South AsiaCenter, made the remark in a podcast on aprivate YouTube channel named ‘The Pakistan Experience’.
In the podcast , he spoke of his experience duringa recent visit to India , as well as the skyrocketinginflation in his homeland, India ‘s digital strides andcommunal harmony in India , among other topics.The ‘Pakistan Experience’ is an independently-produced podcast .Uzair Younus , director of the Pakistan Initiative at the Atlantic Council’s South AsiaCenter, said there is an energy among the peopleof India .”The India ns are brimming with energy .
They exude positive vibes and an attitude that’this is our moment. If not now, then never,” Younus said in thevideo.He said what gives India ns this attitude is theinvestment in the infrastructure in the country, as well as theefforts being undertaken to digitise the economy.He also spoke about how impressed he was when he saw acobbler in Mumbai offering a QR code scanner to his customers toenable digital payment.”A paan shop owner also had a QR code scanner. Cash was notneeded at all,” he said.He said he watched in awe as people had kachoris at eateries andseem to leave just like that. Though he was initially confused whythey were leaving without paying for their meals, it him later thatthey had done so digitally, he said.”I was wondering why the shopkeeper was allowing his customersto leave without paying for their meals. Then I saw that there wasa PayTm QR code and the customers were simply scanning thecode to make the payments,” he added.
The foreign policy expert recalled that he asked his friend how theshopkeeper was keeping track of the payments received.”What I learnt from my friend is that fin-techs have started sellingsmart speakers that are connected to the merchant’s wallet.While the merchant is busy tending to his customers, the smartspeakers will make an announcement every time a payment isreceived,” he said.To this, the show host quipped that Younis must have visited astate from the future. The foreign policy expert nodded in theaffirmative.He noted further that cash is still used in India , andcash circulation is, in fact, 13 per cent of the country the GDP.”While in Pakistan , it is 20 per cent,” he said.”Pakistan doesn’t even have a 5G network, whatJio did there (in India ),” the show host said.The Pakistan i foreign policy expert said he wasalso impressed how everyone in India has zerobalance accounts, UPI and mobile phone access.He said, “Our generation had digitised IDs and passports but wedidn’t take the next step. We lagged. We did it just for the sake ofit.””The cost of sending money on UPI is zero because the India n government provides for the necessaryinfrastructure. The India n government mandatesthat every citizen with an Aadhar card should have the right tozero balance, zero cost bank account,” Younus noted.
He said it was like something new for him that people living inremote India n villages have Aadhar, as well as zero-balance bank accounts.”This is what the Modi government has done in India . He was criticised at that time and was blamed forwasting government money. People said that opening bankaccounts with zero balance, with subsidies from banks, wouldresult in nothing. But it has transformed lives,” he said.”Government subsidies made digital wallets more popular,encouraged the delivery of services through digital means,reduced corruption and enabled more digital payments. Becausenow, you can not only open a bank account on an e-wallet butalso avail insurance as well as credit,” he said.
“My paternal grandfather’s village, Ghed Bagasra near Rajkot, onlyhas a population of 3000 but has access to 4G LTE,” he said.”My father asked me to visit a dargah where my ancestors areburied. Even the flower shop next to the dargah offered a QR codeto his customers,” he added. (ANI)