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85% Paytm wallet users not to face disruption; rest asked to link wallet to other banks: RBI Guv

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The Reserve Bank of India on January 31 barred Paytm Payments Bank Ltd (PPBL) from accepting deposits, credit transactions, or top-ups in any customer accounts

New Delhi: As many as 80-85% of Paytm wallet users will not face any disruption because of regulatory actions, and the remaining users have been advised to link their apps to other banks, RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das said on Wednesday.

The Reserve Bank of India on January 31 barred Paytm Payments Bank Ltd (PPBL) from accepting deposits, credit transactions, or top-ups in any customer accounts.

The deadline for linking the wallet attached with PPBL with other banks has been fixed for March 15, the governor said, ruling out any further extension.

The time given up to March 15 is sufficient and there is no need for further extension, he said, adding that 80-85% of Paytm wallets are linked to other banks, and the remaining 15% have been advised to move on to other banks.

He said that the RBI has taken action against a regulated entity, which in this case is PPBL and has nothing against Fintech companies.

Instead, Das stressed that the RBI favours innovation in the financial technology sector and has even introduced Sandbox for testing new tools.

“RBI is and remains fully supportive of Fintech…RBI is all for Fintech to grow,” he said in an interview with ET Now.

Giving an analogy, he said, one may own and drive a Ferrari but still one has to obey the traffic rules to avoid accidents.

Asked when the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) will decide on the Paytm payment app licence, Das said it has to do its internal due diligence.

“So far, as RBI is concerned, we have informed them that we have no objection if NPCI considers the Paytm payment app to continue because our action was against the Paytm payment bank. The app is with the NPCI…NPCI will take a call…I think they should be taking a call shortly,” he said.

Following regulatory actions, promoter Vijay Shekhar Sharma last month stepped down as part-time non-executive Chairman of Paytm Payments Bank Limited and the board of the bank has been reconstituted.

Former Central Bank of India chairman Srinivasan Sridhar, former Bank of Baroda Executive Director Ashok Kumar Garg, and two retired Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officers were inducted on the board of the bank.

On growth, Das said, “Our sense and understanding of the high-frequency indicators and the momentum of economic activity tells us that 5.9% growth in the fourth quarter could be exceeded.

“And when that happens the annual growth will be more than 7.6%. There is quite a good chance of the GDP number for the current year being very close to 8%,” he said.

He also said the latest policy has projected a 75% growth for the next financial year.

On the price rise, Das said the latest inflation print of 5.1% is still 110 basis points away from the target of 4%.

However, he said, the trend of inflation is on the decline and the RBI is now focused on taking inflation to the target of 4% on a durable and sustainable basis.

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