ECONOMYNirmala Sitharaman urges G20 nations for aligning recovery strategies...

Nirmala Sitharaman urges G20 nations for aligning recovery strategies with climate concerns

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Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday urged G20 nations for aligning economic recovery strategies with climate concerns.

Participating virtually in the Third G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors (FMCBG) Meeting under the Italian Presidency, Sitharaman shared recent policy responses of Government of India to strengthen the health system and economy, including the efficient application of CoWIN Platform to scale-up vaccination in India.

She highlighted the need for international coordination and cooperation in view of the emerging CoVID-19 variants.

Sitharaman added that this platform has been made freely available to all countries as humanitarian needs outweigh commercial considerations in this extraordinary crisis.

As the co-chair of Framework Working Group of the G20, India along with UK, views digitalization as an agenda that will continue to play a key role in bolstering economic growth, she said.

Regarding the ‘Statement on a two-pillar solution to address the tax challenges arising from the digitalisation of the economy’, released by the OECD/G20 Inclusive Framework on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS-IF) on July 1, the G20 Finance Ministers called on the OECD/G20 BEPS-IF to swiftly address the remaining issues.

Sitharaman suggested that further work needs to be done to ensure a fairer, sustainable and inclusive tax system which results in meaningful revenue for developing countries, the Finance Ministry said in a statement.

Earlier this month, India along with other nations joined OECD-G20 framework for global minimum tax. Total 130 countries agreed to an overhaul of global tax norms to ensure that multinational firms pay taxes wherever they operate and at a minimum 15 per cent rate.

Some significant issues including share of profit allocation and scope of subject to tax rules, remain open and need to be addressed. Further, the technical details of the proposal will be worked out in the coming months and a consensus agreement is expected by October.

Speaking on the need for aligning recovery strategies with climate concerns, the Finance Minister called for climate action strategies to be based on the principles of the Paris Agreement and noted the criticality of timely fulfilment of international commitments on climate finance and technology transfer.

The Finance Minister joined other G20 members in welcoming the Report of the G20 High-Level Independent Panel on Financing the Global Commons for Pandemic Preparedness and Response and emphasized on the urgent need to strengthen multilateralism for global health.

The G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors reaffirmed their resolve to use all available policy tools for as long as required to address the adverse consequences of COVID-19.

Sitharaman appreciated the Italian G20 Presidency for identifying three catalysts of resilient economic recovery from the pandemic as being Digitalization, Climate Action and Sustainable Infrastructure and shared the Indian experience of integrating technology with inclusive service delivery during the pandemic.

The two-day deliberation held on July 9-10 saw discussions on a wide range of issues including global economic risks and health challenges, policies for recovery from the CoVID-19 pandemic, international taxation, sustainable finance and financial sector issues.

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