New Delhi: Union Minister of Finance & Corporate Affairs Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman attended the 5th Annual Meeting of Board of Governors of New Development Bank through video-conference in New Delhi today.
The NDB was established by the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) in 2014. The purpose of the Bank is to mobilise resources for infrastructure and sustainable development projects in BRICS and other emerging market economies and developing countries to complement the existing efforts of multilateral and regional financial institutions for global growth and development. NDB has so far approved 14 projects of India for an amount of $ 4,183 million.
In her opening remarks at the meeting, the Finance Minister commended the NDB’s efforts in establishing itself as a credible Global Financial Institution, delivering its mandate successfully by taking more sustainable and inclusive approach.
On the discussion of COVID-19, Smt. Sitharaman appreciated NDB’s effort on fast tracking of financial assistance of about $5 billion to BRICS countries including Emergency Assistance of $1 billion India to combat COVID-19 pandemic. She also suggested that, assistance under this facility to be enhanced to $10 billion. She mentioned about Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s initiative of creating a COVID-19 Emergency Fund and India’s efforts in supplying critical medicine to the needy countries to tackle the COVID-19. The Finance Minister of Brazil thanked India for the timely help it received from India in the form of critical drugs.
Smt. Sitharaman also outlined various measures taken in India to respond to the COVID-19, includes, allocation of $2 Billion (Rs 15,000 crore) by the Government of India for strengthening the healthcare system; announcement of a scheme of social support measures amounting to $25 Billion to alleviate the hardship of the poor and the vulnerable; insurance cover of $67,000 (Rs 50 lakh) per person to over 2.2 million frontline health workers and others provision of relief to firms in statutory and regulatory compliance matters; easing of monetary policy by the RBI.
She also strongly encouraged NDB to take appropriate actions to join G-20 forum along with other Multilateral Development Bank (MDBs)/International Financial Institutions (IFIs). Finally, she urged NDB to follow innovative practices in supporting the BRICS nations for achieving their Sustainable Development Goals.