Oman has become the seventh country to accept India’s Unified Payments Interface (UPI) payment system, allowing Indians living in Oman to start using India’s RuPay card and UPI platform.
The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and the Central Bank of Oman (CBO) signed an agreement for cooperation in digital finance and payments for the usage of RuPay and UPI during the visit of minister of state for external affairs V Muraleedharan to Oman.
The MoS was on an official visit to Oman on 3 and 4 October. During his second ever visit to the country, he met the foreign minister Sayyid Badr bin Hamad bin Hamood Albusaidi, and attended community receptions, among various key engagements.
In west Asia, the RuPay card is used or is in the process of being used in the UAE, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia.
UAE was the first country in the gulf where RuPay was launched during PM Modi’s August 2019 visit.
RuPay is an Indian payment gateway like a Visa or Mastercard and is increasingly being expanded to India’s neighbouring countries or nations with a huge Indian diaspora.
It was launched in Singapore in May 2018, followed by Bhutan and the Maldives.
There are about 650,000 Indians in Oman and they play a key role in the economic development of the country.
Recently an Indian-origin expat, Pankaj Khimji, who is an Omani of Indian origin, has been appointment in a senior government position. He has been appointed as vice minister.
At the premises of the Indian Embassy in Muscat, the MoS was to unveil the statue of Mahatma Gandhi.
It was the first ever life-size bronze statue of Gandhi Ji, commissioned by the Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR).
The visit was part of increased engagement between the two sides. Remember, the Omani secretary general for defence, foreign minister, and commerce minister visited India in February, March, and May 2022.
India is one of the largest investors in Oman, with total investments of over $7.5 billion. Bilateral trade in FY 2021-22 touched $10 billion.
Oman plays an important role in supporting Indian naval deployments in the western Indian Ocean and the Persian Gulf.