Union Minister of Finance Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday praised the efforts of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) for fast-tracking financial assistance of about $10 billion to its member countries including India to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
Attending the fifth annual meeting of the Board of Governors of AIIB through video conference in the national capital, Ms Sitharaman spoke about Prime Minister Narendra Modi's initiative of creating a COVID-19 emergency fund for the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) nations, India's efforts in supplying critical medical health kits to tackle COVID-19, and now supporting global efforts of coronavirus vaccine trials.
Besides, the Finance Minister highlighted India's participation in the "G20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative".
She also outlined various measures taken by the centre to respond to the COVID-19, including the $23 billion Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKP) and $295 billion Atma Nirbhar Bharat Package (ANBP), which aim at protecting all sectors and sections of the economy.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) eased the monetary policy especially reduced reserve requirements and introduced liquidity in the economy to the extent of almost 3.9 per cent of GDP, she added.
Mentioning the steps taken to give a boost to the infrastructure development, she said: "India has launched the National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP) 2020-2025 with an estimated expenditure of $1.4 trillion that has created a plethora of fresh investment opportunities for AIIB's partnerships."
Furthermore, she stressed on some of the expectations from the bank, including the introduction of new financing instruments, mobilising private sector finance, providing financing for social infrastructure to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030, and integrating the development of climate-resilient and sustainable energy access infrastructure into the recovery response to the COVID-19 crisis.
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