FM Nirmala Sitharaman, US Treasury Secretary Janey Yellen Discuss Debt, Crypto at G20 Meet


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Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen discussed strengthening multilateral development banks, global debt vulnerabilities and crypto assets on the sidelines of the G20 finance chiefs meeting on Thursday, the finance ministry said.

Yellen is expected to brief reporters later in the day and take part in a meeting of Group of Seven (G7) nations on the sidelines of the G20 meet.

India is hosting the first major G20 event under its year-long presidency at the summer retreat of Nandi Hills near tech hub Bengaluru.

“The two leaders discussed their perspectives on strengthening MDB (multilateral development banks), global debt vulnerabilities, crypto assets besides the Just Energy Transition Partnership,” New Delhi’s finance ministry said in a tweet.

Under the partnership, the United States and its allies, as well as multilateral development banks and agencies, provide funding to developing economies to move away from coal production and consumption.

India’s presidency of the bloc comes at a time when neighbouring South Asian countries Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Pakistan have sought a bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) over the past year due to an economic slowdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the Ukraine war.

Reuters reported last week that India is drafting a proposal for G20 countries to help debtor nations by asking lenders, including China, the world’s largest sovereign creditor, to take a large haircut on loans.

During the event, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) plans 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 debts.

India also supports a push by the IMF, the World Bank and the United States for the so-called Common Framework (CF) — a G20 initiative launched in 2020 to help poor countries delay debt repayments — to be expanded to include middle-income countries.

© Thomson Reuters 2023

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