New Delhi, Apr 7: India hosted the BRICS meeting of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors virtually on Apr 6, which was jointly chaired by the Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs, Nirmala Sitharaman and Governor, Reserve Bank of India, Shaktikanta Das. The participants included Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors of the BRICS countries.
With the designation of BRICS' Chair for the meeting of Finance Ministers and Central bank Governors, India’s approach is focused on strengthening intra-BRICS cooperation based on Continuity, Consolidation and Consensus. This was the first meeting of the BRICS Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors under India Chairship in 2021.
The BRICS Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors discussed financial cooperation agenda set by India for 2021 that included Global Economic Outlook and Response to COVID-19 pandemic, New Development Bank (NDB) Activities, Social Infrastructure Financing and Use of Digital Technologies, Cooperation on Customs related issues, IMF reforms, Fintech for SMEs and Financial Inclusion, BRICS Rapid Information Security channel and BRICS Bond Fund.
On the BRICS priorities and agenda for 2021, Finance Minister Sitharaman informed that the efforts should be made towards delivering outcomes that reflects the needs and aspirations of BRICS in particular and emerging markets as well as developing economies in general. The Finance Minister emphasized the importance of BRICS in responding to the COVID 19 crisis through policy support and enhancing international coordination. Nirmala Sitharaman highlighted that world’s largest vaccine drive by India is under way and India has supplied 64.5 million vaccine doses to 84 countries until now.
While speaking on the importance of social infrastructure and use of digital technologies, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman underscored the merit in engaging with private sector and exploring the innovative financing models. Sitharaman stated that the Prime Minister’s Health Insurance Scheme using an output-based funding model has triggered a major private investment cycle in health-care infrastructure, enabling significant expansion of health-care services to vulnerable citizens.