FM asks G-20 to take steps to revive growth, create reforms

New Delhi (IANS) Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday called on G-20 nations to undertake steps to revive global growth and create second wave of reforms.

The minister said G-20 nations, comprising 19 countries and European Union must "navigate the global policy coordination" by taking strong steps towards "building buffers and catalyzing a second wave of reforms".

"Sitharaman emphasized that the G-20 has the responsibility to navigate the global policy coordination in effective fashion by identifying and taking strong measures for building buffers and catalysing a second wave of reforms," a Finance Ministry statement said.

"She gave a clarion call for concerted action in the face of global slowdown. She also highlighted that the emerging market economies, in particular, face the challenge of achieving economic growth and inclusive development while pursuing sustainable financing," said the statement.

The minister is leading the Indian delegation to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) annual meeting in Washington DC.

The FM re-emphasized the need for G-20 to ensure collective action so as to enable global growth to regain pace.

Sitharaman led the Indian delegation at G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors as well as the BRICS Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meetings on the side-lines of the IMF/World Bank Annual Meetings.

Earlier this week, the IMF downgraded global growth for 2019 to 3% which is the slowest pace since the global financial crisis. At the same time, it also slashed economic growth forecast for India to 6.1% for the current fiscal from its July projection of 7%, citing weaker-than-expected outlook for domestic demand.

Rising protectionism and uncertainty around trade and geopolitics has affected the growth prospects of several emerging economies, it said.

Sitharaman on Thursday said countries must pursue structural reforms to counter the slowdown.

Under this, last month, the government announced corporate tax cut for companies. The effective tax rate, including cess and surcharges, for the existing companies will come down from 34.94% to 25.17%, while for new companies it will fall from 29.12% to 17.01% to put India back on growth track.

"India has reduced the corporate tax from 30% to 22% thereby making India one of the lowest corporate tax imposing countries in the world today. This will spur investment," a finance ministry statement quoted Sitharaman as saying.

"Alongside the corporate tax reform, government of India's measures pertaining to Aadhaar-based Direct Benefit Transfer as well as Universal Health Care policy received special mention from the Finance Minister," the statement said.

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