Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the recent technical glitch at the NSE "was not anticipated" and "cost us immensely". Addressing the inaugural session of 45th Civil Accounts Day celebrations on Monday, she added that there are lessons to be learnt from the mishap.
On February 24, trading had to be suspended for hours after a technical glitch affected links from telecom service providers. The glitch affected online risk management system, due to which market fuctioning had to be halted. The technical glitch happened on Wednesday, a day before monthly deriatives' expiry.
Shortly after the outage, Finance Ministry had said it was looking into the incident and sought details of the technical glitch from NSE. The comment from FM Sitharaman today was the first statement from central government on the nature of the incident.
Speaking on the 45th Civil Accounts Day, the Finance Minister noted that Controller General of Accounts (CGA), who is the bookkeeper of government accounts, has adopted great systemic reforms.
"Seamlessness of payments is more important,... I will bring it here as an example to say even where complete foolproof systems are laid, you find in NSE a couple of days ago when there was a glitch, a kind of technology-driven glitch, which nobody could have anticipated, but that glitch has cost us immensely and lessons are being learnt," Sitharaman said.
"Maybe that was an issue of interoperability between the two exchanges, but that is the kind of thing where seamless digital payment is the goal that we have to aspire for. That was also an example that tells us about how seamless payment modes or technology-driven platforms can face. So, taking lessons from that, I would think seamless digital payments is something you have to clearly have a roadmap for," Sitharaman said.
She further emphasised on the need for CGA to move towards becoming completely paperless and user friendly. She also asked CGA to work towards greater integration with the Department of Expenditure and states.