Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman appreciated efforts of New Development Bank on fast tracking of financial assistance of about five billion dollars to BRICS countries including Emergency Assistance of one billion dollar to India to combat COVID-19 pandemic.
Addressing the 5th Annual Meeting of Board of Governors through video conference yesterday, Ms. Sitharaman also suggested that, assistance under this facility to be enhanced to 10 billion dollars. She also mentioned about Prime Minister 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.
Ms Sitharaman also outlined various measures taken in India to respond to the COVID-19 including allocation of 15 thousand crore rupees for strengthening the healthcare system and announcement of a scheme of social support measures amounting to 25 billion dollars to alleviate the hardship of the poor and the vulnerable. She also strongly encouraged NDB to take appropriate actions to join G-20 forum along with other Multilateral Development Bank and International Financial Institutions. Ms. Sitharaman urged NDB to follow innovative practices in supporting the BRICS nations for achieving their Sustainable Development Goals.
The NDB was established by the BRICS countries -Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa in 2014. NDB has so far approved 14 indian projects for an amount of 4,183 million dollar. 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.