Gurugram (Haryana): Addressing the G20 meeting here, Union Minister of State, Dr Jitendra Singh Wednesday called for global fight against corruption.
Dr Jitendra Singh 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 Singh 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 Singh 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 Singh 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 Singh 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 said, there have been numerous instances of financial or banking frauds that were investigated under relevant statutory provisions that involved high net worth individuals where the proceeds of crime involved was more than USD one billion. He also elaborated for the first time the impact of corruption on Gender and on Poverty reduction programmes.