2nd G20 ACWG Meeting in Rishikesh to Reiterate India’s Resolve Against Economic Offenders: Union Minister Jitendra Singh


GG News Bureau

New Delhi, 24th May. Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh on Wednesday said that G20 Rishikesh will reiterate India’s resolve against Economic Offenders to ensure zero tolerance against corruption.

At the Second Anti-Corruption Working Group Meeting (ACWG) of G-20 beginning tomorrow at Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India will seek deepening of G20 commitment towards countering corruption globally, he said.

In a Pre-event media briefing here today at National Media Centre, Dr Jitendra Singh said that under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India has taken a very decisive position to prevent economic offenders from fleeing out of the country and taking refuge in other friendly countries with liberal laws.

Dr Jitendra Singh recalled that in 2018, during Argentina’s G20 Presidency, Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi gave a Nine Point Agenda for Action Against Fugitive Economic Offences and Asset Recovery to G20.

It called for strong and active cooperation across G20 countries in legal processes and mechanisms to deny safe haven to all fugitive economic offenders, effective implementation of international commitments, establishment of international cooperation for timely and comprehensive exchange of information and formulation of a standard definition of fugitive economic offenders, development of a set of commonly agreed and standardized procedures for dealing with fugitive economic offenders by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), setting up of a common platform for sharing experiences and best practices and initiation of work on locating properties of economic offenders who have a tax debt in the country of their residence for its recovery.

The Minister added that based on the above, the G20 countries committed to explore the links between corruption and other economic crimes and ways to tackle them, including through cooperation on the return of persons sought for such offences and stolen assets, consistent with international obligations and domestic legal systems. G20 countries affirmed to continue practical cooperation to fight corruption and deny safe haven to persons sought for corruption and their proceeds of corruption.

Dr. Jitendra Singh said that India’s present priorities take forward the past agreements to enhance international cooperation for strengthening fight against corruption and return of corruption offenders and the stolen assets to their countries of origin. This is the concern of all the G20 countries and therefore, we expect substantial agreement on proposals of India, he said.

Mentioning the priorities for the G20 ACWG meeting, Dr. Jitendra Singh said that Indian Presidency will focus on five broad themes in G20 Anti-Corruption Working Group namely International cooperation for strengthening fight against corruption, Integrity and Effectiveness of Public Bodies and Authorities Responsible for Preventing and Combating Corruption, Role of audit institutions in anti-corruption, Leveraging Information and Communications Technology (ICT) for combating corruption in the public sector and most importantly Gender and corruption.

Talking about the unique elements of this G20 ACWG meeting, Dr. Jitendra Singh said that India is organizing a unique event on exploring “G20’s perspective on synergizing gender sensitivity with anti-corruption strategies” on 25th May 2023 on the sidelines of the second G20 ACWG meeting in Rishikesh, Uttarakhand.

This event will have participation of high-level keynote speakers and governmental experts of G20 countries and international organizations. Indian voices of grassroots shall also be represented during the event. India would highlight its own experiences where anti-corruption efforts have helped in empowerment of women, he said.

The Minister further said that India is also preparing a compendium of good practices of G20 ACWG members regarding enhancing the role of auditing in tackling corruption.

This would help in addressing the cross-cutting issue of the importance of collaboration of Supreme Audit Authorities with anti-corruption bodies, to increase transparency, accountability, regulatory adherence and efficiency in public finances. It is a unique step in taking forward India’s priority of strengthening the fight against corruption.

Moreover, India is preparing an Accountability Report for 2023 with a unique focus on analysis of efficiency of Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) procedures for corruption and other criminal offences.

It will help in understanding the practical and cross-cutting issues which arise while preparing and answering MLA requests. It is a positive step in taking forward India’s priority of enhancing International Cooperation for strengthening the fight against corruption.

The Minister hoped that the G20 ACWG meeting would serve as a platform for India to engage with other countries, exchange knowledge, shape policies, and foster international cooperation, all of which can contribute to strengthening India’s anti- corruption framework.

  1. Radha Chauhan, Secretary, Department of Personnel & Training (DoPT) said that the 2nd G20 ACWG meeting will be a follow up on the 1st ACWG meeting and will focus on how the G20 countries can come together on building an informational as well as an operational framework for networking, sharing information and proper operationalisation for supporting which includes mutual legal assistance and preventing safe havens for fugitive economic offenders.

The meeting will also provide a platform to collaborate and coordinate with each other so that the anti-corruption initiatives of all participating countries are much more enhanced by way of efficiency and effectiveness in which the countries deal with such issues.

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