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PM advises G20 countries to look at confiscations to recover proceeds of crime parked abroad

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KOLKATA, Aug 12 (PTI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday suggested that G20 countries can
set an example by using non-conviction-based confiscations to speed up recovery of foreign assets
created from proceeds of crime.

Modi, who was addressing the G20 Anti-Corruption Ministerial Meet here via video conferencing,
stressed the importance of timely asset tracing and identification of proceeds of crime and said these
measures would also “ensure swift return and extradition of criminals” after due judicial process.
He also said the highest impact of corruption is borne by the poor and the marginalised and asserted the
menace affects resource utilization, distorts markets, impacts service delivery and ultimately diminishes
people’s quality of life.
Welcoming dignitaries to the city of Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore, the Prime Minister referred to
the poet’s writings where he had cautioned against greed as it prevents “us from realising the truth.”
He also touched upon the Upanishads that strive for ‘Ma Gridha’, which translates to ‘let there be no
greed’.
Referring to Kautilya in Arthashastra, the PM said it is the government’s duty to enhance the state’s
resources to maximize the welfare of its people.
Modi suggested that G20 countries can set “an example by using non-conviction-based confiscations to
expedite the recovery of foreign assets”.
He added that this along with timely asset tracing, identification of proceeds of crime and swift return
and extradition of criminals after the due judicial process, “will send a strong signal about our joint fight
against corruption”.
“India has a strict policy of zero tolerance against corruption”, the Prime Minister remarked as he
underlined that the country is leveraging technology and e-governance to create a transparent and
accountable ecosystem.
He mentioned that leakages and gaps in welfare schemes and government projects are being plugged.
As a result, the Prime Minister said, hundreds of million people in India have received direct benefit
transfers into their bank accounts amounting to more than 360 billion dollars and helping save over 33
billion dollars.
The Prime Minister informed that the government has simplified various procedures for businesses and
gave the example of automation and digitization of government services that have eliminated rent-
seeking opportunities.
“Our Government e-Marketplace, or GeM portal, has brought greater transparency in government
procurement”, he added.
Speaking about the enactment of the Economic Offenders Act in 2018, the Prime Minister said the
government is aggressively pursuing economic offenders and informed about the recovery of assets
worth over 1.8 billion dollars from economic offenders and fugitives.
He also mentioned the Prevention of Money Laundering Act which has helped attach the assets of
offenders worth more than 12 billion dollars since 2014.
The Prime Minister recalled speaking on the challenges of fugitive economic offenders for all G20
countries and the Global South in his very first G-20 Summit in 2014.
He also mentioned presenting a nine-point agenda for action against Fugitive Economic Offenders and
Asset Recovery at the G-20 Summit in 2018 and expressed happiness that decisive steps are being taken
by the working group.
Highlighting the importance of timely asset tracing and identification of proceeds of crime, the Prime
Minister stressed the need to encourage countries to enhance their domestic asset recovery
mechanisms.
The Prime Minister asserted that the collective efforts of G20 nations can significantly support the fight
against corruption and a huge difference can be made through enhanced international cooperation and
implementation of robust measures that address the root causes of corruption.
Modi also highlighted the role of audit institutions in the fight against corruption.
Concluding the address, the Prime Minister urged the dignitaries to foster a culture of ethics and
integrity in the value systems along with strengthening administrative and legal systems.

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“Only by doing so, can we lay the foundation for a just and sustainable society. I wish you all a
productive and successful meeting,” the Prime Minister concluded.

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