G20 Finance Deputies' meet begins: Crypto norms, debt distress in focus

India's G20 presidency has also put together a summary of various works being done by different institutions towards crypto assets

Economic Affairs Secretary Ajay Seth

Economic Affairs Secretary Ajay Seth

Ruchika Chitravanshi New Delhi

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Ahead of the leaders’ summit later this week, the G20 Finance Deputies, led by Economic Affairs Secretary Ajay Seth, began discussions on Tuesday with a focus on finalising a regulatory framework for crypto assets and the debt distress of vulnerable countries.

The finance deputies, meeting after the third G20 finance track in Gandhinagar in July, have to consider the synthesis paper on crypto assets, which was circulated among the member countries last week. The paper has been jointly prepared by the Financial Stability Board (FB) and the International Monetary Fund.

Seth is leading the Indian side in the two-day discussion with deputies of the member countries on September 5 and 6.

“Discussion is underway at the Finance Deputies meeting in New Delhi ahead of the G20 leaders’ summit. Delegates are deliberating upon finalising the outcomes of the G20 finance track working groups for the 2023 G20 India presidency,” the finance ministry tweeted.

Some of the key concerns of India had not been addressed in the initial FSB report, which also mentioned that it did not comprehensively cover all specific risk categories related to crypto asset activities, such as money laundering, combating the financing of terrorism, data privacy, cybersecurity, consumer and investor protection, market integrity, competition policy, taxation, monetary policy and sovereignty, and other macroeconomic concerns.

India’s G20 presidency has also put together a summary of various works being done by different institutions towards crypto assets.

Besides, on the issue of debt restructuring for vulnerable nations, the finance deputies are expected to discuss the suggestion of introducing timelines for such resolutions. So far, it is learnt that China — the world's largest bilateral creditor to low- and middle-income countries — is yet to come on board for a common understanding on debt resolution of vulnerable nations.

The debt crisis, a priority area for India in G20 discussions, has been aggravated following the Covid crisis, and talks have taken place between the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and China, as well as private lenders. G20 nations are not keen on a one-size-fits-all thumb rule to restructure debt of vulnerable countries, according to sources.

The meeting of deputies is also likely to discuss the first part of the expert group report on strengthening the multilateral development banks. The second part of the report will be released in October for discussion by finance ministers ahead of the IMF annual meeting at Marrakech.

India will also push the envelope on digital public infrastructure during the meeting.

First Published: Sep 05 2023 | 7:47 PM IST

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