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Call for peace to avert food, fuel & fertiliser crisis

The Times of India logo The Times of India 06-12-2022 Surojit Gupta and Sidhartha
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UDAIPUR: There was strong convergence at the G20 meet here on Monday, among most member countries on the need for peace and harmony and an end to the war in Ukraine to ease the food, fuel and fertiliser crisis that is severely hurting the world economy.

This was a key message, especially from emerging market economies, during the informal ‘chai pe charcha’ among the G20 Sherpas. The discussions around the need to end the war take forward India’s efforts at Bali, with PM Modi’s remark that “this is not an era of war” finding resonance.

‘India flagged climate finance concerns, said developed nations must fulfil commitments’

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Informal sessions help break the ice... We are having a detailed discussion and we are finding common ground on many of these issues and we will take them forward,” India’s Sherpa Amitabh Kant said on the sidelines of an event in Udaipur, without disclosing details.

An official statement on the discussions said that the IMF presentation focused on the most-pressing economic challenges and unveiled key ideas for “the world to tackle major concerns” and help countries “emerge more resilient to economic vagaries”.

“The war in Ukraine is on everyone’s mind. We hope this crisis will be over by the end of India’s presidency. Most delegates are in agreement on the need to end this war,” IMF deputy director Kristina Kostial said at a turban-tying event.

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Kant flagged the fuel, food and fertiliser crisis during the opening session. As reported by TOI in its edition on Monday, during an informal meeting on Sunday, emerging market economies had pressed for tackling the food and fuel crisis, which has imposed a huge burden on developing countries.

For India too, the war has come with a heavy cost in the form of record fertiliser subsidies apart from creating pressure on its food stocks at a time when domestic production was hit due to indigenous factors. The government has also been forced to offer subsidies for cooking gas as a result of soaring prices.

Sources said that India also flagged climate finance as an area of concern and suggested that developed countries stick to their commitments, while calling for a reform of the multilateral finance institutions, such as the World Bank, to meet the requirements in this area.

“Climate finance was one of the issues that was presented and Saudi Arabia supports the priority as outlined today. With developing countries having consecutive presidencies, it will help them on their issues because at the end we are one earth, one future,” said Rasha Khalid Bin Aftan, who is part of the G20 Sherpa delegation of Saudi Arabia.

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