Monday, September 5, 2016

Modi flags off anti-graft campaign as part of global economic reforms at G-20

Narendra Modi called for further strengthening of the global financial safety net.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday called for a worldwide campaign against corruption, as part of global economic reforms, which include a greater say for the emerging countries in the international financial architecture.
In his intervention in discussions on, "More Effective and Efficient Global Economic and Financial Governance at the G-20 summit,” Mr. Modi proposed elimination of safe havens for economic offenders across the globe. “Track down and unconditionally extradites money launderers and tax offenders,” tweeted Vikas Swarup, foreign ministry spokesman, paraphrasing the Prime Minister’s remarks.
Mr. Modi, taking the international route to point out economic offences by Indian offenders, also targeted the foreign banks for their excessive secrecy, which eventually ended up shielding the corrupt.
“Break down the web of complex international regulations and excessive banking secrecy that hide the corrupt and their deeds,” he observed.
Official sources said that there was a broad convergence on anti-corruption between India and China. However, while India’s focus was more on recovering black money stashed in foreign banks, the Chinese appeared keener on nabbing economic offenders and fugitives.
Coinciding with the G-20 summit, the Chinese side released fresh data on their on-going anti-graft drive. So far, 2,020 economic fugitives, including 342 former officials, have been returned to China from more than 70 countries and regions since 2014, China’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI), the apex anti-graft organisation, revealed. .
The CCDI said that $1.14 billion in illegal assets had been seized so far as part of the anti-corruption drive
Cai Wei, joint head of the G20 Anti-Corruption Working Group, said he expected world leaders to "further implement action plans promised in previous years to improve cooperation in law enforcement, extradition and seizing illegal funds," China Daily reported.
China sees the United States, Canada, Australia and Singapore—countries with whom it does not have extradition treaties--as safe havens for Chinese offenders. In 2014, Chinese President Xi Jinping had warned that, "Western countries can't become 'safe havens' for corrupt fugitives. No matter where they have escaped to, we will try every means to bring them back."
During his intervention, Mr. Modi stressed that the long delayed 15th General Review of Quotas of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) must be completed by the multilateral lender’s 2017 Annual Meetings. The 15th review in quota shares is expected to result in raising the clout of the emerging and developing countries in the decision making architecture of the IMF.
In an interview with The Hindu, Liu Zongyi of the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies said that the Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa (BRICS) core within the G-20 must push for the further democratising the international Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. “The G-20 summit will be followed by the BRICS summit in Goa in October. The call for the reform of the international financial architecture and preservation of some of the basic rules of global trade can be reinforced in Goa,” he observed.

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