October 8, 2016
Shri Arun Jaitley, Finance Minister participated in the Restricted Session of the International Monetary and Finance Committee (IMFC) and the Plenary Session of IMFC in Washington on October 8, 2016. IMFC is a key body providing strategic direction to the work and policies of the IMF. The events were attended by select Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors. The closed door discussions centered on the policy responses to prolonged period of subdued global growth, low commodity prices and negative interest rates in some large economies,.
2. Addressing the IMFC, FM stressed that since the forces of globalization and multilateralism can go a long way in expanding global growth opportunities, we must focus on the coordinated policy actions and growth strategies. He also emphasized that there is a strong case for realigning quota shares with the changed global economic realities. While expressing India’s extreme disappointment with delay in completion of 15th General Review of Quota (GRQ) by Annual Meeting of 2017, he emphasized that the Fund should strictly abide by the new deadlines set for completing the 15th Review.
3. The Finance Minister also participated in the Plenary Meeting of the Development Committee (DC), which is the Ministerial-Level forum of the World Bank Group and the IMF for inter-governmental consensus building on development issues. The meeting focused on the ‘Forward Look’ exercise carried out by the World Bank and discussion on the Dynamic Formula of Shareholding of member countries in IBRD. In view of the World Bank being capital-constrained, he emphasized upon the need for re-capitalizing the Bank to enable it to meet SDGs and twin goals. He also expressed hope that World Bank would be more agile, efficient and less expensive.
4. While addressing the gathering at forums like the Goldman Sachs Growth Markets Conference and the FT-Citi Forum, the Finance Minister elaborated on the significant improvement in the macroeconomic fundamentals of Investment and growth in the Indian economy. He also highlighted the major transformative initiatives taken by the Government which have created a positive business environment for Indian and global investments, impressive increases in FDI, $100 billion solar energy investment programme, changing 770 million incandescent and fluorescent bulbs to save 20 GW of electricity, Clean India (Swachh Bharat) Program, International Solar Alliance, Make-In-India, total transformation of indirect taxes regime, passage of GST bills, bankruptcy code, etc.
5. FM also held a bilateral meeting with Rt. Hon. Philip Hammond, UK Finance Minister. The discussion centered on the various areas of mutual interest and cooperation.
6. Secretary (EA) held bilateral meeting with his counterpart from Israel during which both sides discussed the issues related to BITs, FDI and future avenues of partnership in the area of agriculture. In particular Israel expressed keen interest in learning from India’s experiences in the field of PPPs and ease of doing business.
7. The Finance Minister is currently on official tour to Washington to attend the Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank and other associated meetings. He is accompanied by Dr. Urijit Patel, Governor RBI, Mr Shaktikanta Das, Secretary Economic Affairs, Dr. Arvind Subramanian, Chief Economic Adviser and other officials.