New Delhi: Former NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant is going to be India’s new G20 Sherpa as Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goel will give up his position as he has been tasked with other pressing duties, sources familiar with the matter said.

With the G-20 presidency coming to India in November, a full-time Sherpa is required, who would need to devote a lot of time to numerous meetings that will be held in different parts of the country.

Minister Piyush Goyal has been tasked with other pressing duties like the Leader of Rajya Sabha which was given to him after his appointment as Sherpa, sources said.

This combined with an intensive workload in Ministries like Commerce and Industry (accelerating Free Trade Agreements FTAs, WTO among others), Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution (CAFPD) and Textiles would limit his involvement in this critical time.

G20 is a major international grouping that brings together 19 of the world’s major economies and the European Union, with its members accounting for more than 80 per cent of global GDP, 75 per cent of global trade and 60 per cent of global population.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been leading India’s representation at G20 Summits since 2014.

India has been a member of the G20 since its inception in 1999. India will be holding the G20 Presidency from 1 December 2022 and will convene the G20 Leaders’ Summit in 2023 for the first time.

Responding to a question in the Rajya Sabha on the manner in which India is preparing to assume the responsibility of the Presidency of G20 this year in December, the Minister of State for External Affairs Rajkumar Ranjan Singh on Thursday elaborated upon the role of India as the G-20 Presidency and the responsibilities and power the position would bring.

“As a founding member of the G20, India has constantly contributed towards its discussions on issues of global importance, including those that impact the most vulnerable around the world,” said the Minister of State.

“As the G20 Presidency, India will set the agenda for the year, identify the themes and focus areas, conduct discussions and work out outcome documents. The G20 Secretariat will be responsible for a smooth transition from the previous Presidency, preparations and conduct,” the Minister of State added.

The G20 process is divided into the Sherpa track and the Finance track. Under the Sherpa track, about 100 official meetings are expected to be organized in the areas of employment, health, digital economy, trade, investment & industry, environment & climate, energy, anti-corruption, agriculture, tourism, culture, and socio-economic development, education, and women empowerment.

Under the Finance track, about 40 meetings are expected to be organized including those in the areas of international financial architecture, financial inclusion and sustainable finance, financing for infrastructure, climate finance and tax matters.

“In addition, programs and events to showcase India’s diversity and culture and to promote India as a business and tourism destination will also be organized for the visiting G20 delegates,” the Minister of state said.

In December 2021, India joined the G20 Troika of Indonesia, Italy, and India – the current, previous and incoming G20 Presidencies, respectively.

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