Union Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman and World Bank Group President Mr. David Malpass met in Washington D.C, to discuss various issues, including India’s continued recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic; the impact of the Russia-Ukraine conflict on the world economy and India in particular; economy and role of the WBG; Single Borrower Limit and exploring the possibility of Guarantees from other nations, India’s G20 Presidency and World Bank’s leadership in India after CD’s departure.
The Finance Minister stated that India’s pandemic response has focused on the twin goals of saving lives and livelihoods. India has been successfully running the world’s second-largest vaccination programme, administering more than 1.85 billion doses of vaccine.
Smt. Sitharaman mentioned that India remains concerned about the risks to global recovery due to rising uncertainty amidst enhanced geopolitical tensions.
The Finance Minister suggested that multilateralism has become more critical as the world is undergoing a phase of exceptional uncertainty. On account of the pandemic and the recent geopolitical developments, there is a need for the World Bank to come to the rescue of countries facing debt stress. In particular, the World Bank needs to pay special attention to Sri Lanka, which is facing an unprecedented economic situation.
Smt. Sitharaman highlighted India’s roadmap for infrastructure development and look forward to World Bank’s continued support for financing investments for the National Infrastructure pipeline and Gati Shakti programme.
Development Committee Plenary Meeting
Earlier, FM Ms Sitharaman also participated in the 105th Meeting of the Development Committee Plenary in Washington D.C. The items on the agenda included Digitalisation & Development, Making Debt Work for Development & Macroeconomic Stability and World Bank Group’s Response to Global Impacts of the War in Ukraine: A Proposed Roadmap.
In her intervention at this session, the Finance Minister stated that India’s economic growth in the current year is robust and highest among all large economies and reflects India’s resilience and strong recovery.
Smt. Sitharaman stated that India faced the COVID-19 pandemic crisis with great resilience and made remarkable progress in vaccination and administered more than 1.85 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses.
The Finance Minister underlined that India voluntarily offered COVID Vaccine Intelligence Network (CoWIN) platform to all countries and stand willing to provide assistance for other public-goods platforms recognising the importance of replication of proven and scalable digital platforms.
The Finance Minister drew attention of distinguished gathering in the meeting to the unprecedented situation in Sri Lanka and hoped for decisive relief to Sri Lanka so that they come out of the crisis.