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Equitable vax key to global economic revival: Sitharaman to G20 fellows

The finance minister emphasised that the centrality of climate justice based on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and principles of the Paris Agreement would be critical for taking forward discussions towards successful outcomes.

SNS | Washington |

Addressing the Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors (FMCBG) meeting, Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman told her counterparts that for global economic recovery, it is essential to keep up the support, build resilience and enhance productivity and structural reforms.

These “should be our policy goals,” Sitharaman added.

The FMCBG met under the Italian Presidency of the G20.

According to a statement released by the G20 post the high-level meeting, members reaffirmed their willingness to continue sustaining the recovery, avoiding any premature withdrawal of support measures as the recovery remains highly divergent across and within countries and exposed to risks.

They agreed to use all available tools, in particular, to support the most impacted, such as women, youth and informal and low-skilled workers and remove inequalities.

Ensuring equitable vaccines for all is a key to the global economic recovery but it faces a significant challenge, Sitharaman said.

Participating in-person discussion on climate change, the finance minister emphasised that the centrality of climate justice based on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and principles of the Paris Agreement would be critical for taking forward discussions towards successful outcomes.

Sitharaman stated that the failure in fulfilling the existing international commitments on climate finance and technology ‘weakens’ the collective efforts of the global community in the fight against climate change.

Sitharaman asked for climate justice to guide further discussions and appreciated the recent Organisation for Economic Operation and Development (OECD) decision on global tax.

For addressing tax challenges arising from the digitalisation of the economy, the G20 FMCBGs endorsed the final agreement as set out in the statement on a two-pillar solution and the Detailed Implementation Plan released by the OECD/G20 Inclusive Framework on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) on 8 October 2021.

G20 members also reaffirmed their commitment to enhancing digital financial inclusion of vulnerable and underserved segments of society, including micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), carrying forward the work of the Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI) and implementing the G20 2020 Financial Inclusion Action Plan.

In this regard, they endorsed the G20 Menu of Policy Options for digital financial literacy and financial consumer and MSME protection “Enhancing digital financial inclusion beyond the COVID-19 crisis”, with the aim to provide a guide for policymakers in their efforts to lay the ground for new financial inclusion strategies in the post-pandemic world, the statement added.

(With agency inputs)