FM Nirmala Sitharaman backs expansion of the membership of New Development Bank at BRICS FMCGB

NEW DELHI: Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday backed expansion of the membership of the New Development Bank at the first BRICS Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors (FMCBG).

The meeting also involved discussions on the outcomes of G20 Saudi Presidency in 2020 and a digital platform to encourage infrastructure investments, a finance ministry statement said.

The BRICS countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – created the New Development Bank in 2014 as a multilateral development bank which will provide financial support to public and private projects through loans, guarantees, equity participation and other financial instruments.

At present the Shanghai-headquartered bank has the five countries as its members with equal shareholding and voting rights. All members of the United Nations can become members of the bank.

Sitharaman supported the expansion of the membership of NDB and emphasised the importance of regional balance.

The finance minister observed that the G20, of which all BRICS countries are members, has delivered some very significant initiatives this year including the G20 Action Plan in response to COVID-19 which has provided broad guidance to navigate a collective global response to the crisis.

Additionally, the G20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative ensured immediate support to address the liquidity needs of low-income countries. She further noted that BRICS members have played an important role in ensuring that concerns of emerging economies are appropriately reflected in these initiatives.

On the ongoing international efforts to find a solution to the issue of taxation of digital economy, Sitharaman said that a consensus solution will play an important role in ensuring fairness, equity and sustainability of tax systems.

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