G20 meeting of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors on Apr 15

PTI

Business, Economy

The virtual meeting of the finance ministers and central bank governors comes within a fortnight of their last meeting on March 31

Nirmala Sitharaman, Union Minister of Finance & Corporate Affairs participated in G20 Meeting of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors. (AFP- FILE PHOTO)

New Delhi: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das will on April 15 participate in the meeting of the G-20 countries to discuss the way forward in supporting the economy after the COVID-19 pandemic.

The virtual meeting of the finance ministers and central bank governors comes within a fortnight of their last meeting on March 31.

The April 15 meeting follows the Extraordinary Energy Ministers meeting of the G-20 countries on Friday.

"The April 15 meeting is in continuation of the March 31 meet and working groups would give their suggestions," an official said.

The G-20 ministers are meeting at a time when rating agencies and economists are saying that the lockdown due to COVID-19 may lead the world economy into recession.

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Several rating agencies have projected lower growth for the world economy with India projected to clock a 30-year low level of growth at 2 per cent in 2020-21.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) sees India's economic growth slipping to 4 per cent in 2020-21, while S&P Global Ratings has lowered its GDP growth forecast for the country to 3.5 per cent.

Moody's Investors Service last week slashed its projection for India's GDP growth during 2020 to 2.5 per cent.

These estimates compare to an estimated 5 per cent growth rate in 2019-20. Indian economy also grew by 5 per cent in 2019.

India has already announced a Rs 1.7 lakh crore relief package, Prime Minister Garib Kalyan Yojana, for poor, urban and rural workers, and those in need of immediate attention to tackle the economic crisis arising due to COVID-19.

Industry, especially MSMEs, have been demanding a package to tide over the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

In the G-20 meeting on March 31, Sitharaman had emphasised the importance of ensuring that the financial system continues to support and quickly revive the economy.

She also urged the International Monetary Fund to develop innovative and ingenious methods to meet the COVID-19 related financing requirements given that policy space is severely constrained in most countries in these unprecedented circumstances.

The meeting also discussed the role of the IMF, the World Bank Group and other international financial institutions to deploy all available resources and explore additional measures needed to support emerging markets and developing economies.

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