Commonwealth Finance Ministers talk international taxation

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Washington, Oct 7 (IANS) The Commonwealth Finance Ministers Meeting 2016, chaired by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, discussed international taxation issues in view of the Panama Papers leak case, an official statement said on Friday.

“Arun Jaitley chaired the Commonwealth Finance Ministers Meeting 2016 at the IMF headquarters in Washington D.C. on Thursday. During the meeting, two important issues — ‘International Taxation – a Commonwealth Conversation Around the Panama Papers’ and ‘Economics of Climate Change and Financing Climate Adaptation and Mitigation’ — were discussed and deliberated,” the Indian Finance Ministry said in a statement.

Earlier, Jaitley said that India, acting on the disclosures by the International Consortium of Journalists, detected Rs 5,000 crore of undisclosed deposits in foreign accounts.

Investigations by India into what is termed “Panama Papers” case led to 250 references being made to other countries, asking for details about tax evaders.

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Jaitley is currently on an official visit to Washington D.C. to attend the annual meetings of the IMF and the World Bank.

During the meeting, as part of the voluntary contributions, India pledged 1,022,100 pounds to the Commonwealth Fund for Technical Cooperation, the statement said.

In Jaitley’s presence, the Standard Chartered Bank and the Bank of Baroda signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Commonwealth small states trade finance facility.

“This finance facility is expected to make available up to $100 million of incremental trade finance over a period of three years,” it said.

Jaitley also chaired the Governing Council meeting of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA).

Addressing the gathering, he announced that the CRA is now operational and BRICS member central banks are fully ready to carry out the transactions, according to the statement.

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At the meeting, Jaitley also extended invitation for the BRICS Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting, to be held in Goa later this month.

He attended the G-20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors’ working dinner, where discussions centred around the global economic outlook, key risks for the global and national economies, and the proposals made by the global forum and the Financial Action Task Force to improve implementation of the beneficial ownership standard, it added.

During the course of the day, Jaitley also held a number of bilateral meetings with US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew, Finance Minister of Bhutan Lyonpo Namgay Dorji and Japan Bank CEO for International Cooperation (JBIC) Tadashi Maeda, among others, with a focus on bilateral trade and investment ties.

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On the sidelines of the Fund-Bank meetings, Shaktikanta Das, Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), also participated in a panel discussion, organised by Morgan Stanley, on the cyclical and structural progress in the emerging market economies. He spoke about the fiscal consolidation and economic reform path being undertaken in India, the statement said.

Jaitley is currently on an official visit to Washington D.C. to attend the annual meetings of the IMF and the World Bank and other associated meetings. He is accompanied by Reserve Bank of India Governor Urijit Patel, Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian and other officials.



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