Ensure universal availability of vaccines to end Covid-19 pandemic: Nirmala Sitharaman
India has supplied 65 million Made-in-India Covid-19 vaccine doses to 80 countries, including 10 million doses as grant and the rest under Covax and commercial arrangements
The key priority today is to end the Covid-19 pandemic and ensure the universal availability of vaccines and medical solutions, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said.
She was speaking at the Plenary Meeting of the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC) of the Board of Governors of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) at the virtual Spring Meetings 2021 on Thursday.
She informed the committee that the world’s largest vaccination drive was underway in India with 83.1 million doses administered as on April 6.
India had supplied 65 million Made-in-India COVID-19 vaccine doses to 80 countries, including 10 million vaccine doses as grant, she pointed out, according to a statement issued by the Union Ministry of Finance after the meeting.
The discussions at the meeting were based on the IMF Managing Director’s Global Policy Agenda (GPA) titled, “Bolstering the Recovery, Countering Divergence”.
Referring to the GPA’s suggestion to hasten the transition to a low-carbon economy for promoting growth that benefits all, Sitharaman said this needs to be viewed in the context of its implications for the Emerging Market and Developing Economies and low-income economies.
According to the finance ministry statement, she pointed out that the burden of economic transformation to a low carbon economy would disproportionately be higher for these countries, and positive benefits may not accrue in the short run.
The focus needs to remain on the agreed principles of equity and differentiated responsibility of climate action, the Indian Finance Minister emphasized.
The meeting was attended by Governors and Alternate Governors representing 190 member countries of the IMF, the finance ministry said.
The members of the IMFC updated the committee on the actions and measures taken by member countries to combat the Covid-19 pandemic and facilitate economic recovery.
The IMFC meets twice a year, once during the Fund-Bank Spring Meetings in April, and again during the Annual Meetings in October. The Committee discusses matters of common concern affecting the global economy and advises the IMF on the direction of its work.
This year's Spring Meetings took place through video-conference due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.