India seeks pressure on tax havens to share information

Posted on    06 May 2011


India seeks pressure on tax havens to share information


Grappling with the problem of blackmoney, India on Wednesday  asked the international community to impress upon non-cooperative jurisdictions to share information about funds stashed there.


"The governments of those countries should share tax information through regular instruments," Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said at the Governors' seminar at the ADB meet.


Addressing the meeting of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), he said that there should not be any differentiation between tax evasion and tax fraud.


Also, the flow of information should not be hindered.


Some countries or jurisdictions differentiate between tax fraud and tax evasion.


This difference in perception assists deliberate concealment of wealth for the purpose of evading tax, something regarded as crime all over the world, and impedes effective exchange of information.


Concerned over blackmoney, specially stashed abroad, the Indian government has concluded 11 TIEAs and 13 new Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements (DTAAs), along with revision of provisions of 10 existing DTAAs in 2010-11.


Addressing the conference, French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde said, "We have to continue the fight against corruption and non-cooperative jurisdiction."


The aim of the G20 is to prepare a framework for "solid, sustainable and balanced growth."


Lagarde also pressing on the need to reform international monetary system to meet the challenges of today.


ADB meet: India stresses on better governance in Asia


Underscoring the need for regional cooperation for development, India has said countries within Asia should strive for better governance and transparency in policy making.


Addressing the Governors' Seminar on 'ASIA 2050' at the annual meeting of the ADB in Hanoi, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said an enabling environment and appropriate institutional structure is a prerequisite for the Asia growth story to unfold.


Referring to the issue of transparency, Mukherjee said, "When we talk about governance, it is not just corruption, but also accountability and predictability."


He said all countries need to work toward improving governance, the quality of their institutions and apply transparency and accountability filters to domestic policy making and implementation.


As the Asian economies try to rebalance growth toward internal demand, regional cooperation and integration through transport and energy connectivity could pave the way for the emergence of a vibrant regional market, he said.


"Strengthening cross border infrastructure linkages in transport, communications and energy sectors would help in addressing bottlenecks that are impeding growth," the minister said.


While Asia has experienced high economic growth over the past few decades and emerged as the lynchpin of global recovery, it is not "on the auto-pilot mode and would require careful steering...," he cautioned


The Indian Finance Minister said if Asia has to reach the level of an affluent region, achieving broad-based, inclusive and sustained growth would be a paramount necessary.


About one billion people, the majority of them Asians, live below the poverty line and face chronic undernourishment.


Mukherjee also said Asian countries should aim to transform their economies into knowledge-and skill-based economies over the next 40 years to ensure high sustained growth.


An ADB report has predicted that Asia's gross domestic product (GDP) would soar to USD 148 trillion and account for 51 percent of global output in 2050.


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