India, US Building Foundation For Strong, Peaceful Global Community: Finance Minister

Washington: India and the United States are building the foundations for a strong, peaceful, and harmonious global community, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said as she also wished that the relationship between the two countries grows from “strength to strength”.

Speaking at a reception at India House, which was hosted by Indian Ambassador Taranjit Singh Sandhu, Ms Sitharaman said, “We are together and building strong foundations for a strong, peaceful, and harmonious global community.”

“I wish this relationship between the United States of America and India grows from strength to strength, and all of us will surely contribute towards it,” she added.

At the reception, United States Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, Mr Sandhu, and coordinator for Indo-Pacific Affairs in the National Security Council, Kurt Campbell, were also present.

In the reception, Union Finance Minister also spoke about the diversity and the celebration of various festivals to mark the new day of the year. She said, “It’s very inspiring to see energetic people before me, each coming to celebrate their own Vishu, Ugadi, Navroz. But all in India House. India houses all of these people. And we’ve always had this diversity. It’s a country which loves celebrations, celebrating and recognising its diversity even as we are doing all this per the auspicious calendar, each one of us follows either based on the sun, moon, or horoscope. So they are all around the same time.”

She also talked about Bhimrao Ambedkar, saying that he stood for and worked for India. He came from the oppressed Dalit community but still became part of the new India in the making and wrote the constitution along with experts, she noted.

At the reception, Ms Sitharaman said the contribution of the Indian diaspora is very important. “You’ve integrated yourself, although you do recall with fondness the place of your origin. But you’re part of the US today and building a very dynamic and robust economy. So that is exactly what we do. Even in India, differences are there between different regions, different people, and different languages, when we talk about digital achievements of India, the achievements are pure because the platforms have languages which are at least 15 as recognised by the constitution of India. There are dialects, of course, in which people just talk, they can’t write because they don’t have a script. But the Indian constitution recognises 15 of them. And most of our platforms are available now in regional languages,” she added.

Earlier, on Saturday, Ms Sitharaman participated in ‘India’s Digital Public Infrastructure – Stacking Up the Benefits’, which is organised by IMF on how public and private sectors can work together on DPI in Washington.

At the event, she said that climate change is now “hitting us in everyday life” from different angles.

“Climate is now hitting us from various different angles, hitting us in everyday life,” Ms Sitharaman said during a panel discussion at a World Bank-organised event on ‘Making it Personal: How Behavioral Change Can Tackle Climate Change’.

The Finance minister, who arrived in the US on April 9, participated in the Development Committee Meeting during the World Bank-IMF’s Spring Meeting, a panel discussion on ‘Empowering Women as Entrepreneurs and Leaders’ and hosted the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors (FMCBG).

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