On Tuesday, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman praised the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank for fast-tracking assistance of 10 billion dollars to its member countries including India to combat the COVID-19 crisis. She was addressing the 5th annual meeting of the Board of Governors of AIIB through video conference. On this occasion, she highlighted Prime Minister Narendra Modi's initiative of creating a COVID-19 emergency fund for the SAARC nations. Moreover, she elaborated on the country's efforts in supplying critical medical health kits to tackle the novel coronavirus and supporting the global efforts of COVID-19 vaccine trials. Sitharaman also cited India's participation in the 'G20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative'.
Finance Minister Smt.@nsitharaman attended the 5th Annual Meeting of Board of Governors of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank through video conference in New Delhi, today. (1/4)— Ministry of Finance (@FinMinIndia) July 28, 2020
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Outlining the Union government's steps in response to COVID-19, she observed that the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana worth Rs.23 billion dollars and the Atmanirbhar Bharat package worth Rs.295 billion dollars aimed at protecting all sectors of the economy. She added that the Reserve Bank of India had eased the monetary policy. This led to a reduction of reserve requirements and introduced liquidity in the economy to the extent of almost 3.9% of the GDP. Thereafter, the Union Finance Minister explained the measures taken to boost infrastructure development including the National Infrastructure Pipeline 2020-2025 expected to cost Rs.1.4 trillion dollars.
She said, "India has launched the National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP) 2020-2025 with an estimated expenditure of USD 1.4 trillion that has created a plethora of fresh investment opportunities for AIIB's partnerships."
At this juncture, she stressed that some of the expectations from the AIIB are the introduction of new financing instruments, mobilising private sector finance, providing financing for social infrastructure to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals 2030, and integrating the development of climate-resilient and sustainable energy access infrastructure into the recovery response to the COVID-19 crisis. Currently, there are 5,09,447 active cases in India while 9,88,029 patients have recovered. So far, 34,193 individuals have passed away owing to the COVID-19 crisis. In the last 24 hours, 35,286 patients were discharged increasing the number of recovered to 9,88,029. The country's recovery rate has surged to 64.51%.