Why in news?

  • The COVID-19 pandemic is having a “severe” effect on the world economy and is expected to cause a -3% change (i.e., a contraction) in global output in 2020, “much worse” than the 2008-09 financial crises, as per the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) World Economic Outlook (WEO).
  • India’s growth is expected to dip to 1.9% in 2020 and rebound to 7.4% in 2021, as per the WEO, which was released by the Fund on 14th April 2020.
  • Assumptions made were that the pandemic fades in the second half of this year, with containment efforts gradually easing up.

International Monetary Fund (IMF)

  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an international organization headquartered in Washington, D.C.
  • It consists of 189 countries working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world.
  • It periodically depends on the World Bank for its resources.
  • Through the fund and other activities such as the gathering of statistics and analysis, surveillance of its members’ economies, and the demand for particular policies, the IMF works to improve the economies of its member countries.

Functions of the IMF

  • To provide financial assistance to member countries with balance of payments problems, the IMF lends money to replenish international reserves, stabilize currencies and strengthen conditions for economic growth. Countries must embark on structural adjustment policies monitored by the IMF.
  • It oversees the international monetary system and monitors the economic and financial policies of its 189 member countries. As part of this process, which takes place both at the global level and in individual countries, the IMF highlights possible risks to stability and advises on needed policy adjustments.
  • It provides technical assistance and training to central banks, finance ministries, tax authorities, and other economic institutions. This helps countries raise public revenues, modernize banking systems, develop strong legal frameworks, improve governance, and enhance the reporting of macroeconomic and financial data. It also helps countries to make progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
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