On October 16, 2020, Union Minister of Finance & Corporate Affairs Nirmala Sitharaman participated in the 102nd Meeting of the World Bank (WB) Development Committee Plenary through video conferencing from New Delhi.
- The agenda points of the meet were: Leaning Forward to Save Lives; Scale-up Impact and Get Back on Track: World Bank Group (WBG) COVID-19 Crisis Response; and Update Joint IMF(International Monetary Fund)-WBG Staff Note: Implementation and Extension of the Debt Service Suspension Initiative.
- The Indian side emphasized on collective actions for the effective response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- It should be noted that WB Group has committed $45 billion for COVID-19 response in Q4 of FY 2020.
Point to be noted:
The global economic contraction caused by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic is the largest in the last eight decades, raising the world poverty rate, and damaging long-term economic growth prospects, as per WB & IMF.
Indian Government Efforts amid COVID-19 Highlighted in the Meet:
-An amount of $23 billion was infused as the first stimulus for providing direct cash transfers and food security measures to the poor.
-A special economic package of $271 Billion equivalent to 10% of India’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product) was launched to provide relief to the business, to bring major reforms in the labour sector by amalgamating 44 central labour laws, and to provide ration cards for migrant workers, among others.
-Support to rural sector through NABARD (National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development), injection of additional liquidity of $27.13 Billion in the farm sector.
-Government has committed $2.03 Billion for strengthening of Health infrastructure.
-India is also playing a leading role in the South Asian region as part of its “Neighbourhood First” policy.
Recent Related News:
i.In order to increase the groundwater table in parched land of 20 taluks, the state cabinet of Karnataka approved Rs 600 cr project titled Rejuvenating Watersheds for Agriculture Resilience through Innovative Development (REWARD) with World Bank (WB) assistance. The state government would provide Rs 180 crore while the World Bank would extend an assistance of Rs 420 crore for the period of next six years.
ii.On September 7, 2020 The State Government of Himachal Pradesh (HP) and World Bank signed a $82 million (approximately Rs. 600 Crores) loan deal to strengthen its transport and road safety institutions by improving the condition, safety, resilience, and engineering standards of the state’s road network.
About World Bank (WB):
President– David Robert Malpass
Headquarters– Washington, D.C., United States (US)