Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has urged for greater equity in vaccine access and affordability as the world looked for a faster exit towards recovery and growth. Participating in the restricted breakfast meeting of the International Monetary Fund in Washington D.C. Ms Sitharaman conveyed that India recognises that universal vaccination is the key to stemming the spread of the virus. She highlighted to all the participants that despite the pandemic crisis, India continued its agenda of structural reforms. She said, wide-ranging reforms, including in agriculture, labour and the financial sector are expected to contribute towards the acceleration of the economy.
Ms Sitharaman also attended the Plenary Meeting of the International Monetary and Financial Committee, IMFC of the Board of Governors of the International Monetary Fund yesterday. The discussions at the meeting centered on vaccinating, calibrate and accelerate which is the theme of the Managing Director’s Global Policy Agenda. The members of the IMFC elaborated the actions and measures taken by member countries to combat COVID-19 and facilitate economic recovery. She asserted that the stark differences in vaccination coverage of low-income countries and advanced countries is of concern and it is critical that we need to address vaccine inequity. The Finance Minister said that to win the war against COVID-19, it is imperative that we freely share medical research and develop adaptive, responsive, affordable, and accessible health care systems.