Union Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs Nirmala Sitharaman participated in the virtual session of the 2nd G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors (FMCBG) meeting under the Saudi Arabian Presidency, to discuss the global economic outlook amid evolving COVID-19 pandemic crisis.
Finance Minister appreciated the Saudi Presidency for their tireless efforts in delivering on the outcomes as mandated by the G20 Leaders during the Extraordinary Leaders’ Summit, particularly in preparation of G20 Action Plan in Response to COVID-19.
Sitharaman had represented India in the 2nd Extraordinary Virtual G20 FMCBG Meeting held on March 31, 2020 wherein she talked about the importance of international cooperation and coordinated actions in ensuring that the financial system continues to support and quickly revive the global economy.
The Finance Minister focused upon the role of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors in safeguarding the lives and livelihood of people while maintaining macroeconomic stability in a sustainable manner. She shared with her G20 counterparts the measures taken by Government of India to provide the vulnerable sections with swift, timely and targeted assistance. She added that so far, within a couple of weeks, India has disbursed financial assistance amounting to USD 3.9 billion to more than 320 million people, with a special focus on direct benefit transfer through digital technology so that the exposure of beneficiaries to public places is minimised. She informed the august gathering of finance ministers and central bank governors that India is now reaping benefits of the farsighted measures of financial inclusion which are part of the pioneering reforms carried out by our Prime Minister.
Sitharaman also said that the monetary policy measures undertaken by Government of India, Reserve Bank of India and other regulators have helped de-freeze the market and catalyse credit flows. These measures include liquidity support of USD 50 billion, regulatory and supervisory measures for credit easing, relief on debt servicing through moratoriums on instalments of term-loans, eased working capital financing and deferred interest payments on such financing.
An Action Plan has been prepared by G20 members on the directions of G20 Leaders to protect lives, safeguard people’s jobs and incomes, restore confidence, preserve financial stability, revive growth and recover stronger, provide help to countries needing assistance , coordinate on public health and financial measures and minimise disruption to global supply chain. Talking about the Action Plan, India’s FM called it a step in the right direction and said that the document will guide individual and collective actions for the G20 members in responding to COVID-19 pandemic in short and medium term. She expressed her sincere hope for the global community to overcome this crisis soon and said that the lessons learnt will enable us to develop prudent policy measure to combat any such crisis in the future.