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COVID-19 variants: Sitharaman calls for global coordination at G20 FMs meet

Sitharaman also highlighted that CoWIN has been made freely available to all countries as humanitarian needs outweigh commercial considerations in this extraordinary crisis.

The finance minister shared Indian experience of integrating technology with inclusive service delivery during the pandemic. The finance minister shared Indian experience of integrating technology with inclusive service delivery during the pandemic.

Speaking at the third G20 finance ministers and central bank governors meeting, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday called for global coordination against the new COVID-19 variants.

The two-day meeting, held on July 9 and 10 under the presidency of Italy, saw discussions on a wide range of issues including global economic risks and health challenges, policies for recovery from the CoVID-19 pandemic, international taxation, sustainable finance and financial sector issues.

The finance minister shared Indian experience of integrating technology with inclusive service delivery during the pandemic and also the policy responses of Indian government to strengthen the health system and economy, including the efficient application of CoWIN platform to scale-up vaccination, the Finance Ministry said in a release.

Sitharaman also highlighted that CoWIN has been made freely available to all countries as humanitarian needs outweigh commercial considerations in this extraordinary crisis.  

She "referred to the global risks in view of the emerging COVID-19 variants and highlighted the need for international coordination and cooperation on this front", the release said.

Also Read: Global economic recovery at risk from rise of new COVID-19 variants: G20

Welcoming the report of the 'G20 High-Level Independent Panel on Financing the Global Commons for Pandemic Preparedness and Response', Sitharaman emphasised on the urgent need to strengthen multilateralism for global health.

As the co-chair of 'Framework Working Group of the G20', India, along with UK, views digitalisation as an agenda that will continue to play a key role in bolstering economic growth, the FM said.

She also called for climate action strategies to be based on the principles of the Paris Agreement, and noted the criticality of timely fulfillment of international commitments on climate finance and technology transfer.

On the 'Statement on a two-pillar solution to address the tax challenges arising from the digitalisation of the economy', released by the OECD/G20 Inclusive Framework on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS-IF) on July 1, the G20 finance ministers called on the OECD/G20 BEPS-IF to swiftly address the remaining issues.

"Sitharaman suggested that further work needs to be done to ensure a fairer, sustainable and inclusive tax system which results in meaningful revenue for developing countries," the release said.