Help govts fight corruption, black money and illicit transfers: Modi tells G20

06 September 2016

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday called upon G20 member nations to act against the corrupt and eliminate "safe havens" for economic offenders and to break down the web of excessive banking secrecy that makes financial governance ineffective.

Intervening in the discussion on 'More Effective and Efficient Global Economic and Financial Governance on the second day of the G-20 summit' in the east Chinese city of Hangzhou, Modi called for further strengthening the global financial safety net.

Fighting corruption, black money and tax-evasion were central to effective financial governance, he said.

Modi urged the grouping to show full commitment to action against financial corruption and said effective financial governance required action against the corrupt and elimination of safe havens for economic offenders.

"We need to act to eliminate safe havens for economic offenders, track down and unconditionally extradite money launderers and break down the web of complex international regulations and excessive banking secrecy that hide the corrupt and their deeds," Modi said in his address at the G20.

Modi reiterated India's support for Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) recommendations and called upon countries to commit to the timeline of 2017-18.

"PM professes India's support for BEPS recommendations and calls on countries to commit to the timeline of 2017-18," spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted citing the prime minister.

India has already declared its commitment to implementing BEPS, which advocates avoidance of stateless income and plugging loopholes by which entities avoid tax in operating across borders.

The Paris-based think-tank of developed nations, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development's (OECD) Base Erosion and Profit Sharing deliverables advocate consistent tax rules throughout the world.

Accordingly, a Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) committee on taxation of e-commerce had earlier this year suggested an "Equalisation Levy" of between 6-8 per cent for business-to-business digital transactions.

This recommendation had formed the basis of finance minister Arun Jaitley's Budget 2016-17 proposal for an equalisation levy of 6 per cent in order to tax income accruing to foreign e-commerce companies from India.

The committee has suggested that the levy be imposed on the amount paid to a non-resident by an Indian resident for specified digital services.

The specified services would include online advertising or any services, rights or use of software for online advertising, including advertising on radio and TV, designing, hosting or maintenance of websites, digital space for website, e-mails, blogs, facility for online sale of goods or services or collecting online payments.

The prime minister said that a stable global economic and financial system is imperative for growth as it promotes inclusive and sustainable growth.

"We need a regular dialogue between the IMF, regional financial arrangements and bilateral swap arrangements. Important mechanisms like financial stability board should stick to their core mandate," the external affairs ministry spokesperson quoted the prime minister as saying.

"IMF should remain a quota-based institution and not depend on borrowed resources," Modi said emphasing that the "long-delayed 15th General Review of Quotas must be completed by 2017 annual meetings."

The prime minister also said that India needs energy to support its development. A "balanced mix of nuclear, renewable energy and fossil fuels are at the core of our policy."

The G20, comprising Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the UK, the US and the European Union, accounts for 85 per cent of the world's GDP.

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