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Global economic risks call for strengthening multilateral co-operation: Sitharaman

PTI, Oct 20, 2019, 4:53 PM IST

New Delhi: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said the global economic risks and imbalances reinforce the need to strengthen international co-operation at the multilateral level, besides governmental initiatives.

She stated this in her intervention during International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC) Plenary Session on Saturday in the ongoing Annual Meetings 2019 of the IMF and World Bank being held in Washington DC, US.

At the national level, a calibrated and balanced approach to deploying a mix of fiscal, monetary and structural measures by countries can help achieve their growth potential, a finance ministry statement quoted her as saying.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) should provide solutions that are specific to important growth geographies to help alleviate the current conundrum, Sitharaman added.

The finance minister also stated that the IMF should evolve a policy framework that would assess the vulnerability of economies to capital flows and that developing stronger surveillance mechanism with sharper diagnostic tools can mitigate or even prevent the adverse effects on fragile economies.

On the 15th Round of the IMF’s General Review of the Quotas (15th GRQ) likely to conclude without a quota increase, she stated that work on the 16th round should begin in the right earnest and should have a tight timeframe.

Sitharaman later participated in the 100th Meeting of the Development Committee Plenary.

She said that as we draw closer to SDG 2030 (Sustainable Development Goals), India is pursuing both scale and speed of development through large National missions in a fiscally responsible, sustainable and inclusive manner.

These programs range widely from solar energy to direct benefit transfer, and from skilling to sanitation.

“But there is a common approach: to improve incomes, reduce deprivation and enhance living standards,” she said.

Sitharaman also stated that in pursuing investment led growth, we should not neglect sustainability, efficiency and transparency in debt and tax policies.

Moreover, investments must generate domestic revenues that can be channelised into effective public spending in health, education and skilling so that youth can benefit from the economic growth.

The finance minister also encouraged the IMF to guide concerted international action to combat illegal financial flows and welcomed collaboration to push investment to augment multilateral development bank (MDB) financing into developing countries.

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