G20: Three-day G20 Finance Track meeting led by India kicks off in Bengaluru on Tuesday

The first meeting of the Finance Track of the Group of Twenty (G-20) under India’s leadership will start in Bengaluru on Tuesday.

This meeting, from December 13-15, will be hosted jointly by the Ministry of Finance and the Reserve Bank of India. The Sherpa Track meetings have already begun, with the first one in Udaipur earlier this month.

The G20 Finance Track provides an effective forum for global economic discourse and policy coordination, said a Finance Ministry statement on Sunday. As reported earlier, the first Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meeting will be held in Bengaluru as well, from February 23-25.

The upcoming meeting of G20 Finance and Central Bank Deputies will be co-chaired by Ajay Seth, Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, and Michael D Patra, Deputy Governor of Reserve Bank of India. Their counterparts from G20 member countries, along with several other nations and international organisations invited by India, will participate in the two-day meeting.

The meeting is expected to discuss several of the economic agenda items and prepare the pitch for the February meeting of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors. The topics discussed will include reorienting international financial institutions to meet the shared global challenges of the 21st century, financing cities of tomorrow, managing global debt vulnerabilities, advancing financial inclusion and productivity gains, financing for climate action and Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), a globally coordinated approach to unbacked crypto assets and advancing the international taxation agenda.

On the sidelines of the meeting, a panel discussion will be held on strengthening multilateral development banks to address shared global challenges of the 21st century. A seminar on the Role of Central Banks in Green Financing will also be held.

The Finance Track of the powerful G-20 grouping is older than the Sherpa Track, since G-20 was formed with the intention of governance of the global economy. There are five working groups in the Finance Track, dealing with issues such as infrastructure, climate and sustainable infrastructure financing, global taxation, debt levels and sustainability especially in low income nations, multilateral institutions, cross-border financial crimes, and regulation of cryptocurrency and other digital assets.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has spoken about the key focus areas of the Finance Track. Last month, she had said that climate and sustainable development financing, multilateral institution reforms, regulation of digital assets, impact on developing economies from the spillovers of the actions of western central banks, energy and food security in the backdrop of war in Europe, and sanctions on Russia and their impact on the global economy could be the agenda items.

“I think we have to understand how multilateral institutions, international financing institutions, are going to be better reformed. Are they going to serve with better vigour, have they become fatigued out, do they have newer thoughts, are they looking at 21st century ways of leveraging the funds they have? Do they know or do they want to bring in greater resources?” the Finance Minister had stated, adding that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had already set the tone of this debate by calling for the reform of institutions like the UN, IMF, World Bank.

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