G20 finance ministers to release global action plan to fight Covid-19

A medic wearing protective suits waits to cremate a COVID-19 patient during a nationwide lockdown, at Nigam Bodh Ghat in New Delhi. PTI
Seeking greater cooperation during the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, finance ministers of G20 (or Group of Twenty) nations, including India’s Nirmala Sitharaman, are expected to release a global action plan later this week, which will lay out how the world’s biggest economies can work together to battle the contagion and its impact on world economy.

“The global action plan will lay down the framework for how G20 countries can cooperate in dealing with the pandemic on the economic, health care, infrastructure, and other fronts,” said a senior government official. The action plan will be signed by finance ministers of G20 nations.

The action plan is likely to be released on the sidelines of a virtual Spring Meeting of International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank on April 16 and 17. It will be attended, via videoconference, by finance ministers and central bank governors of various nations. From India, Sitharaman and Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das are expected to attend the virtual meeting.

The framework for the plan is being examined and finalised by representatives of all G20 nations. The co-chairs for this process are India and the United Kingdom.

On Tuesday, the IMF cut its projections for India’s economic growth to 1.9 per cent for 2020-21, the lowest since the 1991 balance of payments crisis and against its 5.8 per cent forecast earlier. The projections are not as disappointing compared to the world, given the global economy is expected to contract 3 per cent, against a growth of 3.3 per cent expected earlier by the Fund.

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