India has pressed the BRICS nations to set up an independent rating agency of the five-member group. The first meeting of the BRICS Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors was held on the sidelines of the IMF/World Bank Spring Meetings yesterday. Representing India in the meeting of the 5 nation bloc, Economic Affairs Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg sought the support of the Presidency in building consensus amongst the BRICS membership on the BRICS Rating Agency proposal.

These three western rating agencies (S&P, Moody’s and Fitch) hold over 90 percent of the sovereign rating market. The other issues discussed during the meeting related to enhancing the project pipelines of New Development Bank (NDB) evenly across member countries, expansion of NDB’s membership. The BRICS countries have already set up New Development Bank, which became operational in 2015, to meet funding requirements of the members.

It also deliberated on the proposal of the South African Presidency for setting up a working group on illicit financial flows and a BRICS Task Force on Public Private Partnership.

Issues related to BRICS Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA) as well as BRICS Bond Fund were also discussed, the ministry said. In his interventions, Garg emphasised that India has been a constructive participant in the discussions on NDB’s membership expansion.

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