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Unsustainable debt levels threatening financial viability of many countries: PM Modi at G20 meet

Bengaluru: Highlighting the unsustainable debt levels affecting the viability of many countries and the erosion of trust in international financial institutions, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday urged the leading economies and monetary systems of the world to bring back stability, confidence and growth to the global economy.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the first meeting of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors under India's G20 Presidency via video message on Friday. Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister underlined that this is the first Minister-level dialogue under India's G20 Presidency and conveyed his best wishes for a productive meeting.
Taking note of the challenges faced by the world in the present day, PM Modi said that the participants of today's meeting are representing the leadership of global finance and economy at a time when the world is facing serious economic difficulties.
The Prime Minister gave examples of the Covid pandemic and its after-effects on the global economy, rising geo-political tensions, disruptions in global supply chains, rising prices, food and energy security, unsustainable debt levels affecting the viability of many countries and the erosion of trust in international financial institutions due to their inability to reform quickly.
Modi pointed out that it is now up to the custodians of the leading economies and monetary systems of the world to bring back stability, confidence and growth to the global economy.
Casting the spotlight on the vibrancy of the Indian economy, the Prime Minister highlighted the optimism of the Indian consumers and producers about the future of India's economy and hoped that the member participants would draw inspiration while transmitting the same positive spirit to the global level.
The Prime Minister urged the members to focus their discussions on the most vulnerable citizens of the world and stressed that global economic leadership can win back the confidence of the world only by creating an inclusive agenda.
"The theme of our G20 Presidency promotes this inclusive vision - One Earth, One Family, One Future," PM Modi said.
The Prime Minister observed that progress on Sustainable Development Goals seems to be slowing down even though the world population has crossed 8 billion. He emphasized the need to strengthen Multilateral Development Banks for meeting global challenges like climate change and high debt levels
Highlighting the growing dominance of technology in the world of finance, PM Modi recalled how digital payments enabled contactless and seamless transactions during the pandemic.
He urged the member participants to explore and harness the power of technology while developing standards to regulate its possible risk of destabilization and misuse in digital finance.
He noted that India has created a highly secure, highly trusted, and highly efficient public digital infrastructure in its digital payments ecosystem over the past few years.
"Our digital payments ecosystem has been developed as a free public good," the Prime Minister remarked as he underlined that it has radically transformed governance, financial inclusion, and ease of living in the country.
Noting that the meeting is taking place in Bengaluru, the technology capital of India, PM Modi said that participants can get first-hand experience of how Indian consumers have embraced digital payments. He also informed about the new system created during India's G-20 Presidency that allows G20 guests to use India's path-breaking digital payments platform, UPI.
"Examples like UPI can be templates for many other countries too. We would be happy to share our experience with the world and the G20 can be a vehicle for this", added the Prime Minister.
With the aim to foster global economic cooperation, the first G20 Finance Minister and Central Bank Governors (FMCBG) meeting is being held in Bengaluru on Friday.
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Shaktikanta Das jointly chaired the meeting. (ANI)

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