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India Joins Task Force on Financial Integrity and Economic Development

January 26, 2011

Task Force

Membership Part Of Government Strategy To Tackle Illicit Financial Flows, Increase Global Financial Transparency

WASHINGTON, DC – As part of a newly announced government plan to tackle corruption, crime, and illicit capital flight, the government of India has joined the Task Force on Financial Integrity and Economic Development’s Partnership Panel. Task Force Partnership Panel members also include the governments of Chile, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Norway, and Spain, the Canadian International Development Agency, and the Ford Foundation.

In a recent report, “Illicit Financial Flows from Developing Countries: 2000-2009,” lead Task Force member Global Financial Integrity (GFI) ranked India’s illicit outflows as the 15th largest among developing countries: approximately $104 billion, cumulative, from 2000-2008. Another report from GFI, “The Drivers and Dynamics of Illicit Financial Flows from India: 1948-2008,” estimated that India lost a total of $462 billion from 1948 to 2008.

A press release issued Tuesday morning by India’s Ministry of Finance stated:

[The] Government has formulated a five pronged strategy which consists of joining the global crusade against ‘black money’; creating an appropriate legislative framework; setting up institutions for dealing with illicit funds; developing systems for implementation and imparting skills to the manpower for effective action…

India has joined the Task Force on Financial Integrity and Economic Development in order to bring greater transparency and accountability in the financial system.

Launched in January 2009, the Task Force is a unique global coalition of civil society organizations and governments which advocates for greatly improved transparency and accountability in the global financial system. Task Force membership is organized by the following component groups: a Coordinating Committee, the Partnership Panel, the Economist Advisory Council, and Allied Organizations.

The Partnership Panel’s mandate is to facilitate meetings with other government officials, provide information on discussions and conferences that are relevant to the Task Force, and strategize on how to best promote Task Force goals within governments, multilateral organizations, and other institutions. In turn, the Task Force helps support efforts by member governments to tackle their own illicit flows issues by providing data, expertise and proven policy prescriptions.

The Task Force advocates five recommendations for addressing the current global financial crisis, each one focusing on transparency and extending initiatives that have already begun to be put into place:

  1. Curtailment of mispricing in trade imports and exports;
  2. Country-by-country accounting of sales, profits, and taxes paid by multinational corporations;
  3. Require that the beneficial ownership of companies, trusts and foundations be readily available on public record;
  4. Automatic cross-border exchange of tax information on personal and business accounts; and
  5. Harmonization of predicate offenses under anti-money laundering laws across all Financial Action Task Force cooperating countries.

Visit http://www.financialtransparency.org/ for more information about the Task Force and its work.

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Contact:

Monique Perry Danziger
mdanziger@gfip.org
+1 202.293.0740 ext. 222

Note to editors:

The Task Force is a unique coalition of governments and international civil society organizations which promotes awareness of the link between illicit financial flows and poverty in developing countries and advocates for greater transparency and accountability in the global financial system.  Task Force coordinating committee members include: Christian Aid, the European Network on Debt and Development (Eurodad), Global Financial Integrity, Global Witness, the Leading Group on Innovative Financing for Development, Tax Justice Network, Tax Research LLP, and Transparency International.

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