Infrastructure, investment, innovation, and inclusivity are vital for long-term sustainable growth, according to Nirmala Sitharaman, the Minister of Finance. This is true for both developed nations and developing economies. She made these remarks while attending the ‘Governors’ Seminar: Policies to Support Asia’s Rebound’ in Incheon, South Korea, which was part of the 56th annual conference of the Asian Development Bank.

It was claimed by Sitharaman that the safeguarding of disadvantaged sections has been India’s primary emphasis as the government has plotted India’s road towards recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. The focus that India has placed on micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) and on maintaining food security has been critical to the Indian economy’s successful recovery from the Covid-19 outbreak, as the Finance Minister pointed out further.

Sitharaman advocated for the democratisation of business and emphasised the need for entrepreneurial skills to become much more widespread and democratised in the nation. She did this to ensure that no one would be deprived of the opportunity to acquire the necessary skill sets. Concerns were expressed by her over the unequal treatment of developing nations and developing markets in the context of food security. This is due to the fact that trade agreements governed by the WTO framework have a propensity to be one-sided.

In addition, the minister of finance demanded that the World Trade Organisation (WTO) resume its focus on trade in agricultural products. He did this in recognition of the fact that subsidies will be vital for developing countries as they strive to recover from the consequences of the pandemic. During the course of the seminar, she also brought attention to India’s structural changes that have been made possible by the country’s digital public infrastructure. These changes have made it possible for timely conditional cash transfers to be made when they are required the most.

Sitharaman stressed that India’s focus on capital investment will not only be beneficial to the semi-skilled population, but it will also aid explore crucial areas that go beyond agriculture, industry, and services.

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