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 in order 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.
The Finance Minister also highlighted that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is actively leading India's climate change response efforts through various programmes, such as 'Lifestyle for Environment' (or LiFE), among others, the Finance Ministry said in a statement.
The Finance Minister also pointed out that beyond its financial support, AIIB should work towards expanding the scope of its mid-stream and upstream engagement activities, such as increased technical assistance to help clients translate strategies into investment plans.
Sitharaman suggested that the bank should set up full-fledged country offices in member locations.
India is a founding member and the second-largest shareholder in AIIB. It has the largest project portfolio within AIIB. The theme of this year's annual meeting was "Sustainable Infrastructure Toward a Connected World".
Currently, India has a 7.65 per cent vote share in the AIIB while China holds a whopping 26.63 per cent stake in the organisation that was set up in 2016.
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