Jaitley heads for US to attend IMF-WB meetings

New Delhi, April 11 (IANS) Finance Minister Arun Jaitley leaves for the US on Tuesday on a 10-day visit to attend the Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, followed by a UN session on the drugs problem, and an interaction with American investors.

Briefing reporters about the finance minister’s visit, an official source said that Jaitley is also likely to have a meeting with US administration officials.

The IMF and World Bank Spring Meetings will also be attended by Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan and Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian.

After the first leg of his tour, Jaitley will reach New York on April 17, where he will address a Special Session of the UN on the World Drug Problem on April 19.

Jaitley will also hold meetings with the American business community and investors there, the source added.

The Indian government had in March presented in parliament a supplementary demand of grant of Rs.69,575 crore towards increasing India’s quota in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that will allow increased voting rights for the country at the IMF.

“After taking into account additional receipts of Rs.52,181.60 crore by issue of securities, monetising Rs.17,393.87 crore through India’s SDR (special drawing rights) holding with RBI and saving of Rs.2,618.94 crore available in the revenue section of the grant, this supplementary will not entail cash outgo,” said the supplementary demands for grants moved by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

The IMF’s historic quota and governance reforms, had for the first time placed four emerging market countries — Brazil, China, India, and Russia — among its 10 largest members in January this year after being approved by the US Congress in 2015.

They had been approved by the IMF’s Board of Governors in December 2010.

The reforms, pending for long, also increase the financial strength of the IMF, by doubling its permanent capital resources to SDR 477 billion (about $659 billion) from about SDR 238.5 billion (about $329 billion).

Other top 10 members of the 188-nation agency include the US, Japan, and four big European countries — France, Germany, Italy and Britain.

The reforms represent a major step toward better reflecting in the institution’s governance structure the increasing role of dynamic emerging markets and developing countries, the IMF has said.

Currently, India has voting rights of 2.34 percent. In terms of quota, the country has a share of 2.44 percent.

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