Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

India’s quick response in limiting the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and undertaking massive vaccination drives are resulting in a “V-shaped recovery”, said Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday.

Speaking at the sixth annual meeting of the Board of Governors of New Development Bank (NDB) through video-conference, Sitharaman highlighted that India’s Covid-19 vaccination drive, the largest in the world, is underway and to date, 63.9 million doses of made-in-India Covid vaccine have been supplied to 80 countries including 10.4 million doses of the vaccine as grants. “The Finance Minister underscored India’s quick response to limit the impact of the pandemic and to undertake massive vaccination drives which are resulting in a ‘V shape recovery’,” a statement from the Finance Ministry said.

She also acknowledged the NDB’s achievements and progress over the last six years and highlighted the bank’s role in countercyclical lending through $10 billion Emergency Assistance Programme for supporting the member countries in fighting the COVID pandemic.

She further stressed the need for NDB to maintain and improve upon the ratings assigned by international rating agencies through adequate capitalisation, high-quality governance and prudent management.

Sitharaman also encouraged the NDB to facilitate private sector participation, explore more innovative financing structures, discover co-financing opportunities with other MDBs, develop a pipeline of bankable projects, and promote environmental and social safeguards to enhance the sustainability of infrastructure.

“India is going to set up a new DFI with initial paid-up capital of around $3 billion with a lending target of $69 billion in the next three years,” she said while suggesting NDB to develop a synergistic relationship with these institutions that share its development priorities to achieve greater results.

NDB, a multilateral development bank was set up by the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) in 2014 with the objective of mobilizing resources for infrastructure and sustainable development projects in the BRICS as well as other EMDCs of the world. The Bank has been operationalised since 2015, with its Headquarters in Shanghai, China. NDB has so far approved 18 projects of India for an amount of $6,924 million.