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G20 backs Modi’s pitch against black money

By EMN Updated: Nov 17, 2014 12:37 am


In a victory for India, the G20 on Sunday endorsed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s strong pitch for repatriation of black money at its summit, echoing the government’s line on the need for transparency and disclosure of tax information.
Modi while voicing India’s support for a new global standard on automatic exchange of tax information urged every jurisdiction, especially tax havens, to provide information for tax purposes in accordance with treaty obligations.
The new global standard will be instrumental in getting information relating to unaccounted money hoarded abroad and enable its eventual repatriation, Modi said, utilising the forum of G20, which accounts for 85 per cent of world’s GDP.
The prime minister also noted that increased mobility of capital and technology have created new opportunities for avoiding tax and profit sharing.
The three-page communique was released at the end of the two-day summit of Group of 20 industrialised and leading emerging economies hosted by Australia.
Welcoming the “significant progress” on the G20/OECD Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Action Plan to modernise international tax rules, it said, “We are committed to finalising this work in 2015, including transparency of tax- payer specific rulings found to constitute harmful tax practices.”
Briefing newsmen, railways minister Suresh Prabhu and external affairs ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said the reference to transparency, which was not there in the draft communique, was incorporated in the final communique after Prime Minister’s strong intervention at Sunday’s plenary session.
After Prime Minister Modi’s intervention, several countries, notably Brazil and South Africa wanted a reference to be made to transparency in the final communique, Akbaruddin said.
“After the prime minister’s own and strong intervention (on repatriation of black money), several countries shared his sentiments and wanted the views to be reflected in the final communique,” he said.

Tensions soar as Putin quits
Vladimir Putin’s early exit from a G20 summit in Australia after an icy reception from world leaders may further stoke Russia-West tensions and lead to renewed fighting in Ukraine, analysts said.
Western leaders piled huge pressure on the Russian strongman at the Group of 20 meeting in Brisbane, with host Tony Abbott calling on Putin to “atone” for the shooting down of Malaysian flight MH17 over rebel-held east Ukraine and Britain’s David Cameron branding him a “bully”.
Analysts said Putin’s apparent anger at his treatment by his fellow leaders could worsen the crisis in Ukraine.
“If he is leaving irritated, just wait for the fighting in Ukraine to intensify,” independent analyst Stanislav Belkovsky told AFP.
In eyebrow-raising remarks, Putin, who prides himself on his stamina, cited the “need to sleep” and a long flight home as his reasons for leaving the summit earlier than planned.
Despite the baking heat in Brisbane, the chill in the air was unmistakable.
Australian tabloid The Courier-Mail demanded apologies from Putin, while Russian media complained that Western leaders went out of their way to ostracise the Russian president.
“At the G20, Australian hosts tried to humiliate Vladimir Putin in every way possible,” pro-Kremlin magazine Expert said online.
Armed with the Forbes magazine title of “the most powerful man in the world” and domestic approval ratings over 80%, Putin arrived in Australia with a flotilla of Russian navy vessels in tow.
The G20 summit had been expected to be the Russian president’s toughest foreign visit since the start of the standoff between the Kremlin and the West over Russia’s support for the separatists in eastern Ukraine.
Putin and the West had not been expected to reach a breakthrough over the Ukraine crisis, yet no one had expected hostilities to break out into the open.
In recent years Putin has habitually stolen the limelight at international gatherings, setting himself up as an outsider at G8 gatherings as the Kremlin agenda grew increasingly at odds with Western interests.
But the walkout in Brisbane took tensions to a whole new level.
Analysts said that Western leaders’ increasingly vocal criticism of the Kremlin’s policies and Putin’s abrupt departure indicate that neither side was interested any longer in maintaining even a patina of civility.

By EMN Updated: Nov 17, 2014 12:37:28 am