New Delhi (NVI): India on Tuesday hosted its first virtual meeting of BRICS Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors.
The meeting was jointly Chaired by Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs Nirmala Sitharaman and Governor, Reserve Bank of India, Shaktikanta Das.
As 2021 BRICS Chair, India’s approach is focused on strengthening intra-BRICS cooperation based on Continuity, Consolidation and Consensus.
During the meeting, BRICS Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors discussed financial cooperation agenda set by India for 2021 including Global Economic Outlook and Response to COVID-19 pandemic, New Development Bank (NDB) Activities, Social Infrastructure Financing and Use of Digital Technologies, Cooperation on Customs related issues, IMF reforms, Fintech for SMEs and Financial Inclusion, BRICS Rapid Information Security channel and BRICS Bond Fund.
Finance Minister Sitharaman informed that the efforts should be made towards delivering outcomes that reflects the needs and aspirations of BRICS in particular and emerging markets and developing economies in general.
She emphasised the importance of BRICS in responding to the COVID-19 crisis through policy support and enhancing international coordination.
The minister highlighted that world’s largest vaccine drive by India is under way.
“India has supplied 64.5 million vaccine doses to 84 countries,” she said.
Speaking on the importance of social infrastructure and use of digital technologies, the Finance Minister underscored the merit in engaging with private sector and exploring the innovative financing models.
She stated that the Prime Minister’s Health Insurance Scheme using an output-based funding model has triggered a major private investment cycle in health-care infrastructure, enabling significant expansion of health-care services to vulnerable citizens.
The Finance Minister also talked about thematic priorities for New Development Bank for discussion during 2021 and the issues of membership expansion.
Meanwhile, Sitharaman also called for greater coordination among BRICS member countries on the issues of 16th general review of Quotas of IMF.