At IMF panel meet, FM outlines measures taken by India to tackle Covid-19

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on April 17, 2020 Published on April 17, 2020

Amidst Covid-19 induced lockdown in most parts of the world, the Union Finance and Corporate Affairs Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday attended through video conference the Plenary Meeting of the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC), the Ministerial-level committee of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

In her intervention, Sitharaman outlined various measures taken in India to tackle the health crisis as well as to mitigate its impact. She mentioned the allocation of $2 billion (₹15,000 crore) by the Government of India to strengthen the healthcare system; announcementof social support measures amounting to $23 billion (₹1.70 lakh crore) to alleviate the hardship of the poor and the vulnerable; provision of relief to firms in statutory and regulatory compliance matters; easing of monetary policy by the RBI; and three-month moratorium on loan instalments.

The Finance Minister also informed the IMFC about India’s role as a responsible member of the global community in providing critical medicines to other nations. She spoke about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s initiative of creating a Covid-19 Emergency Fund for the SAARC region at the SAARC leaders’ video-meeting.

Responding to the IMF’s channel of support to member countries, Sitharaman said the IMF has always played a pivotal role in maintaining stability of the international monetary and financial system and that it should continue rendering this critical role to the global financial architecture, an official release said.

The discussions at the meeting were based on IMF Managing Director’s Global Policy Agenda titled, “Exceptional Times – Exceptional Action”. The members of the IMFC updated the committee on the actions and measures taken by member countries to combat Covid-19 and on IMF’s crisis-response package to address global liquidity and members’ financing needs.

The IMFC meets twice a year, once during the Fund-Bank Annual Meetings in October, and again during the Spring Meetings in April. The committee discusses matters of common concern affecting the global economy and advises the IMF on the direction of its work. This year, due to the Covid-19 outbreak, the meeting took place through video-conference, the release added.

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Published on April 17, 2020
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