New Delhi, June 10: India has called for closer collaboration between countries to deal with the policy challenges posed by ageing.
Finance and Corporate Affairs Minister Nirmala Sitharaman highlighted the necessity of collaboration between countries with high old age dependency ratio and those with low old age dependency ratio at the just concluded meeting of G20 fiance ministers and central bank governors in the Japanese city of Fukuoka at the weekend.
She suggested that if ageing countries with shrinking labour force allow calibrated mobility of labour with portable social security benefits, the recipient countries can not only take care of the aged but also have a positive effect on global growth.
Sitharaman said that India’s demography presented a dual policy challenge since the country's old age dependency ratio is lower than Japan while at the same time India’s aged population in absolute numbers exceeds that of Japan.
On Sunday, the world's top policy makers discussed tackling economic issues relating to ageing such as rising healthcare costs, labour shortages and financial services for the elderly.
According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, longer life-expectancy and declining birth rates, have resulted in "rapid demographic change" in both developed and developing countries.
By 2050, the world is projected to have more than two billion people aged 60 and above, more than double the number in 2017, says the OECD.
Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso said that nations must be ready to act before population ageing rears its head and puts pressure on the economy.
"What we are saying is, 'If the issue of ageing starts to show its impact before you become wealthy, you really won't be able to take effective measures against it'," Aso said ahead of the meeting.
Sitharaman detailed the policy measures that Government of India is taking to address these challenges.
On financing of Universal Health Coverage, she stressed the importance of a holistic approach that encompasses plurality of pathways, including traditional and complementary systems of medicine.