COVID Vaccination Drive Is helping in Getting on V Shaped Economic Recovery: FM Sitharaman

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Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said that India’s quick response in limiting the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and undertaking massive vaccination drives are resulting in a “V-shaped recovery”.

She said this while speaking at the sixth annual meeting of the Board of Governors of New Development Bank (NDB) through video-conference.

Sitharaman also highlighted that the world’s largest vaccine drive by India is underway and till date, India has supplied 63.9 million doses of made-in-India COVID vaccine to 80 countries including 10.4 million doses of the vaccine as a grant.

The Minister also acknowledged the NDB’s achievements and progress over the last six years and highlighted the bank’s role in countercyclical lending through 10 billion dollars Emergency Assistance Programme for supporting the member countries in fighting the COVID pandemic.

She further stressed the need for NDB to maintain and improve upon the ratings assigned by international rating agencies through adequate capitalisation, high-quality governance and prudent management.

Sitharaman also encouraged the NDB to facilitate private sector participation, explore more innovative financing structures, discover co-financing opportunities with other MDBs, develop a pipeline of bankable projects, and promote environmental and social safeguards to enhance the sustainability of infrastructure.

Highlighting the role of Development Financial Institutions (DFIs) in infrastructure financing, she mentioned that India is going to set up a new DFI with initial paid-up capital of around 3 billion dollars  with a lending target of 69 billion dollars in next three years.

She also suggested NDB to develop a synergistic relationship with these institutions that share its development priorities to achieve greater results.

NDB, a multilateral development bank was set up by the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) in 2014 with the objective of mobilizing resources for infrastructure and sustainable development projects in the BRICS as well as other EMDCs of the world.

The Bank has been operationalised since 2015, with its Headquarters in Shanghai, China. NDB has so far approved 18 projects of India for an amount of 6,924 million dollars.

The meeting was also attended by Governors/Alternate Governors of Brazil, China, Russia and South Africa.

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