Corporate Newsletter: February – March 2024

AKS Partners


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AKS Partners (formerly known as A.K. Singh & Co, established in 1988) is a law firm based out of New Delhi, India. The Firm provides a comprehensive and diverse range of legal services and solutions to domestic and international clients. Our practice areas include Dispute Resolution, Arbitration (including ICA, Investor-state), General Corporate, M&A, Private Equity, Venture Capital, Tech Laws, Insolvency etc. The Firm boasts of its diverse clientele which include several public sector enterprises, start ups and multi-national corporations (both based in India and outside India) engaged in sectors such as Aviation, IT-ITES, Manufacturing, Construction etc.
Humanity's history is intricately woven with the evolution of money. From the cumbersome bartering of goods like livestock and grain to the seamless tap of a smartphone...
India Corporate/Commercial Law
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  1. The Digital Rupee: A Paradigm Shift for Indian Financial Landscape
  2. Recent Case Highlight
  3. Regulatory Updates
  4. Industry Insight
  5. Corporate Buzz
  6. Proud Moment for India
  7. Awards and Recognitions



Humanity's history is intricately woven with the evolution of money. From the cumbersome bartering of goods like livestock and grain to the seamless tap of a smartphone, our methods of exchange have undergone a remarkable transformation. Each innovation, from the standardized value of minted coins to the portable convenience of paper notes, has not only streamlined transactions but also unlocked new possibilities for economic growth and societal development. Today, on the cusp of another potential revolution, Central Bank Digital Currencies ("CBDCs") stand poised to redefine the financial landscape. These digital alternatives of currency promise to usher in an era of enhanced efficiency, security, and accessibility, further shaping the way we interact with and utilize money in the 21st century.

India's journey towards a digital-first financial landscape has been nothing short of phenomenal. The initial steps involved laying a secure foundation with electronic fund transfer systems like NEFT and RTGS, enabling high-value interbank transfers. This shift away from physical cash was then significantly amplified by the arrival of Unified Payments Interface ("UPI"). UPI's user-friendly mobile platform transcended social barriers by making instant and effortless digital transactions accessible for everyone, regardless of the amount. Now, India is taking another pioneering leap forward by exploring the uncharted territory of CBDCs.

On December 01, 2022, the Reserve Bank of India ("RBI") marked a watershed moment in the nation's financial history with the launch of digital rupee ("e₹"). This ground-breaking initiative signifies the official entry of India into the realm of CBDCs.

The digital rupee holds immense potential to revolutionize the Indian financial ecosystem even further. By offering a secure, universally accessible and potentially offline-enabled digital alternative, the e₹ has the power to not only empower the unbanked population but also propel India to the forefront of the global digital payments revolution. This ongoing digital transformation promises to streamline transactions beyond current limitations, fostering greater financial inclusion and propelling India towards a more efficient and robust financial future.

Understanding the Digital Rupee: How does it work?

"Reserve Bank defines CBDC as the legal tender issued by a central bank in a digital form. It is the same as a sovereign currency and is exchangeable one-toone at par (1:1) with the fiat currency."1

India's CBDC is a legal tender issued by RBI in a digital form. It is akin to sovereign paper currency but takes a different form, is exchangeable at par with the existing currency and shall be an accepted medium of payment and a safe store of value.

The e₹ represents a digital embodiment of the traditional Indian Rupee, offering a secure and convenient alternative to physical cash. Unlike private cryptocurrencies, the e₹ remains firmly under the control of the RBI. This ensures stability and mitigates the risks associated with volatile, decentralized digital assets.

Unlike decentralized cryptocurrencies, the e₹ shall be operated within a regulated framework. With the recent amendments in the RBI Act, it appears that the RBI shall retain complete authority over its issuance and regulation. Functionally similar to online banking or mobile wallets, this digital token will facilitate seamless digital transactions.

The RBI creates tokens and issues them to the banks selected for the Digital Rupee Pilot Program called Token Service Providers (TSPs). The TSPs then distribute the tokens to interested parties/ customers. The digital Rupee tokens will work in the same way as bank notes/ coins, and you can use them in lieu of cash.

CBDCs vs Digital Deposits in India

India's digital financial system relies on commercial bank deposits, essentially IOUs from the bank. A CBDC, like the e₹, is fundamentally different. It's a direct liability of the RBI, offering potentially greater security and even offline functionality. This distinction gives the RBI more control over money supply and monetary policy. The e₹ pilot program is testing these advantages to potentially reshape the future of digital money in India.

India's Motivations for the Digital Rupee

This initiative by the Indian Government extends beyond simply introducing a digital form of currency; it seeks to address critical challenges and unlock new economic opportunities through a multi-pronged approach.

Optimizing Resource Allocation: Managing physical cash involves significant logistical and financial burdens for the government, financial institutions and businesses alike. Security, printing, transportation, and replacement of worn-out notes all contribute to these costs. The e₹, being entirely digital, eliminates these expenses, enabling a reallocation of resources towards more productive endeavors within the financial sector.

Accelerating Digitization for a Less-Cash Economy: India has witnessed a rapid rise in digital payments in recent years, but a significant portion of the population still relies heavily on cash. The e₹ serves as a catalyst to further accelerate the transition towards a less-cash economy. By offering a secure and convenient digital alternative, the e₹ can incentivize broader adoption of digital payments, fostering greater financial transparency and efficiency across the nation.

Promoting Inclusive Growth Through Financial Inclusion: Financial inclusion remains a critical challenge in India. The e₹, with its potential for wider accessibility through mobile wallets or potential offline functionality, has the power to empower unbanked individuals. Streamlined account opening previously processes and the elimination of geographical barriers can pave the way for greater financial participation, particularly in rural regions.

Enhancing Transactional Efficiency: Cash-based transactions are often time-consuming, error-prone, and require laborious reconciliation. Additionally, managing large amounts of physical cash poses security risks. The e₹ offers a faster, more convenient, and secure alternative. Instant digital payments facilitated by the e₹ can significantly reduce processing times and transaction costs associated with handling cash. This translates into increased efficiency for businesses and quicker access to funds for individuals, ultimately contributing to overall economic growth.

Strengthening Security and Transparency: Cash transactions lack transparency, making them vulnerable to counterfeiting and illegal activities. The RBI's oversight of e₹ transactions allows for enhanced monitoring and real-time tracking. This can significantly reduce counterfeiting, facilitate easier identification of illicit financial activities, and strengthen the overall security and integrity of the financial system.

Fostering Innovation for a Dynamic Financial Ecosystem: The e₹ is not just a substitute for cash; it's a foundation for financial innovation. Its introduction can stimulate the development of novel financial products and services, such as new digital lending platforms or more efficient investment products tailored to individual risk profiles. A more dynamic and competitive financial ecosystem fueled by the e₹ can benefit businesses and individuals alike by offering a wider range of financial tools.

Safeguarding Financial Stability with a Stable Digital Currency: The growing popularity of cryptocurrencies has raised concerns about their volatility and potential risks to financial stability. The e₹, being a central bank-backed digital currency, offers a secure and stable alternative to these volatile assets. This can help safeguard public trust in the national currency and ensure continued confidence in the Indian financial system.


1 Central Bank Digital Currency – Is This the Future of Money

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