Ensuring equitable access to vaccines for all a major challenge: Finance Minister Sitharaman at G20 meet
She appreciated the role of G20 in rallying pandemic response
One of the major challenges for transitioning from crisis to recovery is ensuring equitable access to vaccines for all, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said.
Keeping up the support, building resilience, enhancing productivity and structural reforms should be our policy goals, she said at the 4th G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors (FMCBG) Meeting on Wednesday.
In order to ensure a sustained recovery from the pandemic, the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors agreed to avoid any premature withdrawal of support measures, while preserving financial stability and long-term fiscal sustainability, and safeguarding against downside risks and negative spillovers.
The meeting was held in Washington D.C. under the Italian Presidency on the sidelines of the IMF-World Bank Annual Meetings, said an official press release by the Ministry of Finance.
Finance Minister Sitharaman appreciated the role of G20 in rallying pandemic response and supporting vulnerable countries through debt relief measures and the new SDR allocation.
Going forward, she suggested on focusing efforts on making the benefits reach the intended countries, the release said.
The meeting was the final FMCBG Meeting under the G20 Italian Presidency and saw discussions and agreements on various issues concerning global economic recovery, pandemic support to vulnerable countries, global health, climate action, international taxation and financial sector issues.
The Finance Minister joined the G20 Ministers and Governors in agreeing on the need for strengthening efforts to counter climate change.
Sitharaman emphasised that considering the varied policy spaces and different starting points of countries, the centrality of climate justice based on United Nations’ Framework Convention on Climate Change and principles of Paris Agreement would be critical for taking forward discussions towards successful outcomes.
For addressing tax challenges arising from the digitalisation of the economy, the G20 FMCBGs endorsed the final agreement as set out in the Statement on a two-pillar solution and the Detailed Implementation Plan released by the OECD/G20 Inclusive Framework on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) on 8th October, 2021.
The meeting concluded with the G20 FMCBGs reaffirming their commitment to advance the forward-looking agenda set in the G20 Action Plan to steer the global economy towards a strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth.