India calls for strong, aligned international cooperation to combat challenge of Fugitive Economic Offenders and Assets

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Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh during UNGA Special Session.
Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh during UNGA Special Session.

New Delhi [India], June 6 (ANI): Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh on Saturday called for a strong and aligned international cooperation on the return of persons and assets sought for Fugitive Economic Offenders, consistent with international obligations and domestic legal systems.

Addressing the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Special Session on Challenges and Measures to fight Corruption, Dr Singh said, "As the accused take shelter in foreign countries and conceal the proceeds of crime in complex legal structures spread over different countries and jurisdictions, the gaps and weaknesses of international cooperation in this area are fully exploited by such fugitives to their advantage."

The Minister conveyed India's appreciation to all the countries who are taking this fight ahead in the right direction by intensifying efforts, sustaining the political commitment and decisive action, at all levels, against preventing and combating corruption by way of endorsing the United Nations Political declaration, as per the release by the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions.

The Union Minister said India provides Mutual Legal Assistance to the widest possible extent and it has strengthened its domestic law and widened the scope for International Co-operation with the Contracting States and International organisations.

"In addition to the suffering, the pandemic has created unprecedented short term and long-term challenges in fighting corruption at all levels. It is significantly undermining the distribution of resources, jeopardizing our rebuilding processes, extending economic pressure and delaying the return to growth. This is indeed the most appropriate time to come together and strengthen international cooperation to prevent and combat corruption," he said.

Dr Jitendra Singh said that India has a zero-tolerance policy towards corruption and the motto of the Government of India, given by the Prime Minister, is 'minimum government, maximum governance with emphasis on transparency and citizen centricity.

With an aim of decentralising decision-making and bridging communities with local governments across cities and towns, innovative solutions are being implemented using digital tools in all sectors affecting the livelihoods of citizens.

While concluding his address, Dr Jitendra Singh wished for a steadfast and strong commitment to combating the menace of corruption especially in these times of crisis and reiterated that India is ready to work with other countries, civil society and international organizations to accelerate the implementation of anti-corruption principles. (ANI)