G20 not to withdraw stimulus as economic recovery is fragile

New Delhi, Feb 28 (FN Representative) The Group of 20 advanced and emerging economies have agreed to avoid a “premature” withdrawal of fiscal and monetary stimulus as economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic is still fragile and uneven. After a virtual meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors on Friday, Italian Finance Minister Daniele Franco said the group agreed to strengthen international coordination in tackling global challenges as the equitable distribution of vaccines is seen as critical in containing the COVID-19 crisis globally.

They also agreed to continue fiscal support debt-servicing of developing countries. In November, the G-20 extended its programme to suspend debt servicing payments by developing countries until June this year. Digital taxation was also high on the agenda at the meeting. About 140 countries are now aiming to reach an agreement by mid-2021. Reports said new US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen reportedly dropped a demand made by the Trump administration for a “safe-harbor” clause that would allow companies to choose to operate under the current taxation rules.

With global digital giants like Facebook Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. seen as not paying their share of taxes by taking advantage of low-tax jurisdictions, talks to create a new digital taxation framework have stalled due to disagreements among countries. Yellen’s move could smooth the way for such an accord.