Dr Jitendra addresses G20 meeting, calls for global fight against corruption
STATE TIMES NEWS
GURUGRAM: Addressing the G20 meeting here on Wednesday, Union Minister, Dr Jitendra Singh called for global fight against corruption.
Dr Jitendra called upon G-20 Nations to adopt multilateral action for faster extradition of fugitive economic offenders and recovery of assets both on domestic front as well as from abroad during the 1st Anti-Corruption working group meeting.
Chairing the Meet with Co-Chair Italy, Dr Jitendra said in his inaugural address that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has envisioned developing such an administrative ecosystem for a developed India, which has zero tolerance for corruption.
Dr Jitendra said, “Economic offences have been a problem faced by many, especially when the offenders flee from the jurisdiction of the country. India has put in place a specialized legislation in this regard, in the form of Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018, the term wherein ‘fugitive economic offender’ (“FEO”) is defined as an individual against whom a warrant of arrest in relation to Scheduled Offence has been issued by any court in India and who has left the country so as to avoid criminal prosecution; or the FEO abroad, refuses to return to face criminal prosecution”.
The Minister also informed the Media that the Enforcement Directorate has transferred assets worth about USD 180 billion to public sector banks that suffered losses to the tune of around USD 272 billion due to frauds committed by high-net-worth individuals.
Dr Jitendra informed the G-20 Delegates, India’ s view is that strengthening of mechanisms for speedy confiscation of the proceeds of crime, both at home and abroad, will force the offenders to return to their home country.
He added that this will allow for an effective investigation and speedy trial for the related offence and this would also help the banks and other financial institutions and tax authorities to achieve recovery from defaults committed by such FEOs, thus restoring, to some extent the overall health of these banks and other financial institutions, while eliminating the possibility of further misuse of these funds.
Dr Jitendra said, corruption is a complex social, political, and economic challenge affecting all countries and in a globalized world, corruption has ramifications well beyond the G20. He said, it adversely impacts the effective utilization of resources, creates market distortions, adversely impacts the quality of life of citizens, impacting the benefits of globalization and consequently, economic growth and overall governance and most disproportionately affecting the poor and most marginalized.
The Minister emphasized that India’s G20 presidency will focus on providing an effective, efficient, and responsive mechanism on asset recovery and information sharing between the G20 countries.
In his concluding remarks, Dr Jitendra Singh said, it is important that all the State parties reflect the same determination against corruption and expressed confidence that the Anti-Corruption Working Group, under the chair ship of India and co-chairship of Italy, will come up with substantial outcomes aimed at preventing and combating corruption.