As India’s one-year Presidency of G20 (now G21) comes to end this month, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman called for continuation of momentum on policy guidance in the New Delhi Leaders’ Declaration (NDLD).

India is holding a virtual G20 meeting later this month take stock of action on NDLD. This will be the last meeting under India’s Presidency before Brazil takes over from December 1.

“Not only should we engage with G20 partners to take forward the outcomes, but we should also explore how best we can integrate these outcomes into India’s domestic policy-making process so that we can lead by example,” Sitharaman said in her inaugural address at the seminar on ‘Strong, Sustainable, Balanced and Inclusive Growth’ organised by the ministries of Finance, Labour and the Commerce department.

Policy guidance

She also said that India‘s G20 Presidency has provided a clear policy direction for addressing the needs of the majority of the global population whose voices are often unheard in multilateral forums. “As I reflect on the last one year, I believe we have delivered a G20 Presidency that has provided clear policy directions for addressing the needs of the majority of the global population whose voices are often unheard in global multilateral forums,” she said.

The G20 New Delhi Leaders Declaration (NDLD), unanimously agreed to by all G20 countries, addresses some of the pressing challenges confronting the global economy and also provides policy guidance for a future built on people-focused principles and trust-based partnerships, Sitharaman said.

The minister further said since the pandemic, the global economy has been grappling with multiple crises, adversely affecting global growth. While the recovery is underway, it remains slow and uneven. The current pace of global growth remains quite weak, well below the 3.8 per cent average in the two decades before the pandemic and looking ahead over the medium term, growth prospects have weakened further.

She also noted that policy coordination, both global as well as domestic, is critical to ensure that growth comes back on track and remains strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive. To this effect, she said the New Delhi Leaders’ Declaration underscores the urgency of implementing well-calibrated macroeconomic and structural policies to bolster equitable growth and enhance macroeconomic and financial stability.

Sitharaman emphasised that concerted efforts were taken during India’s G20 Presidency to mainstream the concerns and aspirations of the Global South; to explore how technology can be leveraged for the benefit of development for all; and to develop solutions for enabling multilateral institutions to become more effective in addressing the complex development financing landscape of the 21st century.