New Delhi: Starting today, February 22, G20 finance ministers and central bank governors will hold four-day deliberations in Bengaluru, until February 25, on debt troubles in developing economies, cryptocurrencies, and global inflationary pressures, Reuters reported.
As the meeting coincides with the first anniversary of the Ukraine war, which is on February 24, the Russian invasion and its domino effect on the global economy are also likely to be at the top of the agenda. The meeting is the first major event of India’s G20 presidency.
According to Indian officials in the know of things, unblocking debt restructuring for distressed economies and boosting aid for Ukraine will be discussed at length by the delegates. There is also an expectation that US treasury secretary Janet Yellen will press China to “quickly deliver” on debt relief for low- and middle-income countries.
India’s G20 presidency comes at a time when its neighbours – Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan – have reached out to the International Monetary Fund for bailout packages citing economic hardships due to the slowdown in the economies caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the Ukraine war.
Reuters had earlier reported that India, on behalf of G20 nations, will come up with a proposal to “help nations by asking lenders, including China, the world’s largest sovereign creditor, to take a large haircut on loans”.
“While thinking about debt concerns faced by countries, it is also important to think about what we can do to forestall them,” Reuters’ latest report quoted India’s chief economic adviser V. Anantha Nageswaran as saying, in a press conference ahead of the meeting on February 22.
“So the discussions would be aimed both at handling them before they arise and after they arise as well,” Nageswaran added.
Among other discussion items are rules on crypto-currencies, reform of multilateral development banks, international taxation and securing adequate finance to combat climate change.
During the four-day event, IMF is likely to hold a virtual meeting with the World Bank, India, China, Saudi Arabia, the United States and other Group of Seven (G7) nations “to try to reach understandings on common standards, principles and definitions on how to restructure distressed country debt”.