FM Nirmala Sitharaman asks AIIB to raise infra, clean energy investments

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India on Wednesday asked Beijing-based multilateral lending agency AIIB to scale up investments in priority areas like clean energy and infrastructure sector with a special focus on education and health. Addressing the annual meeting of the board of governors of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said India has embarked on the path of a self-reliant economy and therefore has been successful in mitigating the negative effects of the pandemic.

As regards AIIB, she said, it needs to scale-up investments in key priority areas, including clean energy and energy efficiency, disaster resilient infrastructure, social infrastructure with a special focus on education and health, and digital infrastructure to ensure a meaningful impact is achieved and resources are not scattered in multiple areas.

As public resources alone are insufficient to meet the vast infrastructure needs of the members, she advised that the bank should not only play a catalytic role in mobilising diverse private sector resources but also explore mechanisms to augment its own resources, including through early action on the recommendations of G20’s Expert Panel’s Report on the multilateral development bank’s Capital Adequacy Framework (CAF).

Referring to the Indian economy, she said the well-targeted policy mix accompanied by major structural reforms and a sound external balance sheet have aided its growth despite exogenous threats.

The Indian economy has remained resilient and made remarkable progress through its digitalisation mission, utilising technology to facilitate social protection and boost financial inclusion, she said at the 7th annual meeting of AIIB.

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