New Delhi: The G-20 finance ministers followed by leaders of the forum are expected to engage in virtual summit this week or in near future to prepare stimulus package to overcome economic shocks of Covid-19 outbreak.

The officials from the G-20 countries are currently engaged in dialogue to explore either a meeting of respective central bankers followed by finance ministers and leaders or a meeting of finance Ministers and leaders to firm up a package to beat economic downturn, ET has learnt.

G-20 finance ministers and central bank governors have agreed to use all available policy tools, including fiscal and monetary measures as appropriate, to respond to the economic impact of Covid-19, official told ET. The G-20 is expected to support the IMF and World Bank commitments to extend financial support to developing countries that need it and invite countries to strengthen funding facilities, officials said, adding, the G-20 states are also planning to address the disruptions to international trade and market uncertainty due to the pandemic. The issue of job losses as a result of the outbreak of disease could also be on the table. It may be recalled that the 2008 G-20 Summit in USA extended prescription to handle global economic crisis.

The idea to host extraordinary G-20 summit of leaders was mooted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and agreed upon by Saudi Arabia last week. The 2020 edition summit was scheduled to be held on November 21-22 in Riyadh.

Riyadh is working to coordinate international cooperation in combating this pandemic and adopting appropriate policies to reduce its economic burdens within the framework of the G-20, officials told ET. Saudi Arabia is also taking care of the safety of expatriates on priority.

India is an important asset for the international fight against Covid-19 and in minimising its impact, said sources who did not wish to be identified. Riyadh is working closely with India in this regard. Saudi Arabia and India, as members of the G20 and long-standing strategic partners, will work closely to gather global cooperation in dealing with the situation.

The G-20 summit will also be aimed at advancing a coordinated response to the pandemic and will build on the ongoing efforts of health, trade, and foreign affairs officials.

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