Union Minister for Finance Nirmala Sitharaman participated in the 103rd Meeting of the Development Committee Plenary of World Bank through video conferencing. The items on the agenda included World Bank Group (WBG) and International Monetary Fund Support for Debt Relief Under the Common Framework and Beyond COVID-19 pandemic. In her intervention at this session, the Finance Minister stated that we are all engaged in steering our economies and people safely out of COVID-19 pandemic. She said, the Government of India has taken several measures to contain the spread of pandemic and also to mitigate its social and economic impact including a series of economic stimulus packages in last one year. Ms Sitharaman shared that the Government has announced Aatma Nirbhar Packages amounting to more than 13 percent of the GDP.
These packages were meant not only to provide social protection to poor and vulnerable but also to push forward the economic reforms. The Finance Minister noted that the WBG has stepped up its financing in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic with total financing approvals exceeding 100 billion dollar for the first time. She appreciated the pro-active role played by the WBG in helping developing countries access vaccines in a timely and affordable manner in coordination with other multilateral agencies like WHO and GAVI. She also urged the World Bank to explore the possibility to sustain crisis response keeping in mind debt sustainability of vulnerable countries and financial sustainability of the WBG.