Tatsat Chronicle Magazine

India For Unified Action To Ensure Zero Tolerance Against Corruption

February 27, 2023

India will reaffirm unified action to ensure zero tolerance against corruption and deepen G20 commitments towards countering corruption globally at the First Anti-Corruption Working Group Meeting (ACWG) of G-20, being held in Gurugram, Haryana from March 1 to 3.

In a statement issued ahead of the First Anti-Corruption Working Group Meeting Union Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Dr Jitendra Singh said that India’s G-20 Presidency is marked by unprecedented economic, geopolitical and climate challenges.

He however, added that amidst global gloomy economic outlook, India has emerged as a bright spot as described by IMF and other world agencies and therefore, India will play its rightful role to bridge the North-South divide on pressing issues.

“India will reaffirm unified action to ensure zero tolerance against corruption and deepen G20 commitments towards countering corruption globally.”

The minister stated that during the three-day event at Gurugram, over 90 delegates from 20 members countries, 10 invitee countries and nine international organisations will engage in detailed deliberations on strengthening International anti-corruption mechanisms. The delegates will experience India’s culture through specially curated Yoga Sessions, visit to historic sites, cultural events and local cuisine.

Dr Jitendra Singh stated that since its inception in 2010, G20 Anti-Corruption Working Group (ACWG) has been at the forefront of guiding the anti-corruption initiatives of G20 countries. G 20 ACWG meetings have one Chair (Presidency country) and one co-chair country. The co-chair for the G20 ACWG 2023 is Italy.

The Minister pointed out that India’s G-20 Presidency gives her a golden opportunity to become the voice of the Global South in unison with other 19 powers by fast-tracking global anti-corruption efforts by addressing issues like money-laundering, asset recovery and beneficial ownership.

The G-20 Nations will deliberate on areas of future action like bringing in processes, where fugitive economic offenders can be traced and extradited faster, and their properties situated abroad brought within the reach of the law of the land from which such offenders escape.

Dwelling on the subject of the Working Group, Dr Jitendra Singh emphasized that  corruption is a scourge that impacts effective utilization of resources and overall governance and affects the poorest and marginalized most acutely. India’s Presidency aims to strengthen international cooperation for action against corruption and economic crimes, and recovery of stolen assets.

The G20 ACWG will explore proactive sharing of information, improving existing Mutual Legal Assistance framework and simplifying mechanisms for sharing of information between domestic law enforcement authorities in criminal matters.

India’s chairpersonship will support G20 countries in prioritizing recovery and return of stolen assets in their broad strategy against corruption.  Enhancing the effectiveness of asset-tracing and identification mechanisms, developing mechanisms for rapid restrain of illicit assets, and promoting effective use of open-source information and asset recovery networks will be key focal areas, the minister said.

The importance of informal cooperation among G20 countries and creation of a knowledge hub to facilitate training and capacity building of member countries in enhancing the use of existing mechanisms of cooperation will be highlighted, he added.