Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman
Participates in 102nd Meeting of the World Bank Development Committee Plenary
[Ministry of Finance Press Release dated 16 October
Union Minister of Finance & Corporate Affairs Nirmala Sitharaman participated in the 102nd Meeting of
the Development Committee Plenarythrough video
conferencing on 16 Oct.
The items on the agenda included Leaning Forward to Save Lives, Scale-up
Impact and Get Back on Track: World Bank Group COVID-19 Crisis Response and
Update Joint IMF-WBG Staff Note: Implementation and Extension of the Debt
Service Suspension Initiative.
In her intervention at this session, Sitharaman
stated that COVID -19 Pandemic which started before our last meeting in April,
continues to impact the developing and developed
countries till date and the hard fought gains in reducing the level of poverty,
achieved over a number of years, are at great risk of being lost. The
Government of India has taken several measures to contain the spread of pandemic,
and also to mitigate its social and economic impact.
The Finance Minister shared
that the Government has announced first stimulus of $23 billion to provide direct
cash transfers and food security measures to poor. This was
followed by special economic package of $ 271 Billion - equivalent to
10% of India’s GDP - based on a clarion call by Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri
Narendra Modi for Aatma Nirbhar Bharat or
Self-Reliant India. Measures have been announced to provide relief to the
business, bring about major reforms in the labour
sector by simplifying, amalgamating and rationalising
44 central labour laws, provide
effective social protection to the
migrant workers through National Portability of ration cards. Rural sector has been provided support by way of refinance support
through NABARD, injection of additional liquidity of $27.13 Billion in the farm sector and by way of increased
allocation for National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS).
also mentioned that Government has committed $2.03 Billion for strengthening of
Health infrastructure in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic. Being a responsible
member of global fraternity, India is ready to share its experience and also play a leading role in the South Asian region as
part of its “Neighbourhood First” policy.
Finance Minister stated that collective action is the key for effective
response to the pandemic and welcomed the strong performance in Q4 of FY 2020
wherein World Bank Group has committed $45 billion for COVID-19 response.