Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman attended the Plenary Meeting of the International Monetary and Financial Committee of the Board of Governors of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) held in Washington D.C.
The meeting on Thursday was attended by Governors/Alternate Governors representing 190-member countries of the IMF.
The discussions at the meeting centred on "vaccinate, 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.
Sitharaman conveyed that India recognises that universal vaccination is the key to stemming the spread of the virus. 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 emphasized the importance of the multilateral approach with the principles of equity and common, but differentiated, responsibilities and capabilities to combat climate change. Sitharaman stressed that it is important to recognize the formidable challenges faced by developing countries in getting access to affordable financing and technology.
Before attending the IMFC Plenary Meeting, Sitharaman had also participated in Restricted Breakfast Meeting of the IMF.
Speaking on the issue of the pandemic and the response of health care systems, 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 healthcare systems.
On the issue of vaccine availability and economic recovery, Sitharaman urged for greater equity in jab access and affordability as the world looked for a faster exit towards recovery and growth.
The Finance Minister also highlighted to all the participants that despite the pandemic crisis, India continued its agenda of structural reforms.
Wide-ranging reforms, including in agriculture, labour and financial sector are expected to contribute towards acceleration of the economy.
The IMFC meets twice a year, once during the Fund-Bank Spring Meetings in April, and again during the Annual Meetings in October.
The Committee discusses matters of common concern affecting the global economy and advises the IMF on the direction of its work.
(With inputs from IANS)