New Delhi: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday urged the International Monetary Fund to develop innovative and ingenious methods to meet the Covid-19 related financing requirements of member countries given “severely constrained" policy space in most countries.
Speaking at the virtual meeting of G20 finance ministers and central bank governors, Sitharaman made specific interventions on reviewing and enhancing the IMF toolkit and further expanding the swap line network. “On the issue of swap arrangements, Sitharaman encouraged IMF to use its existing resources to create a non-stigmatised short-term liquidity swap facility which could be rapidly deployed as and when needed by the countries. She also emphasized upon the need to allow flexibility for countries to engage in new lines of bilateral swap arrangements as per requirements," a finance ministry statement said.
A joint statement issued by G20 current chair Saudi Arabia also reflected some of the demands made by Sitharaman. “The G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors 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 amid the COVID-19 pandemic, including by supporting financial stability and alleviating liquidity constraints," the statement said.
The G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors tasked the relevant working groups to deliver on the roadmap by their virtual meeting on 15 April 2020. “They agreed to continue to discuss and take urgent actions needed to address the global challenge presented by the COVID-19 pandemic," the statement added.