Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Calls for Strengthening Global Efforts Against Financial Crimes
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman recently emphasised the need to reinforce the global architecture for combating financial crimes, money laundering, and sharing information about various asset classes, including cryptocurrencies. Speaking at the ‘G20 High-Level Tax Symposium on Combating Tax Evasion, Corruption, and Money Laundering,’ Sitharaman expressed confidence in the G20’s commitment to assisting jurisdictions in enhancing their law enforcement capacity. Under India’s G20 Presidency, she highlighted India’s leadership role in building tax and financial crime investigation capabilities in the South Asian region in collaboration with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Additionally, she announced India’s plan to launch a pilot program for tax and financial crime investigation in collaboration with OECD at the Regional Campus of the National Academy of Direct Taxes in New Delhi.
Sitharaman recognised the G20’s leadership in advancing changes to the international tax, anti-corruption, and anti-money laundering systems. In addition to encouraging jurisdictions to take a more all-encompassing strategy for addressing financial crimes, these reforms have also made it easier for increased cooperation across them. The finance minister expressed the expectation that the G20 would keep looking into possibilities to strengthen the global architecture and aid nations in increasing their capacity for law enforcement. She emphasised the requirement for coordinated and successful strategies to combat financial crimes more successfully.
In her speech, Sitharaman emphasised the need to look for new threats to financial openness. She applauded the developments made in the Common Reporting Standard update and the introduction of the Crypto-Asset Reporting Framework, describing these measures as helpful steps in combating financial crimes. She also recommended determining whether other asset classes necessitate systematic information exchange among governments.
In multi-layered transactions involving many asset forms, such as financial assets, crypto assets, and real estate, Sitharaman recognised that criminals utilise sophisticated techniques to transfer illicit earnings across international borders. She emphasised the importance of this information for other financial crime investigations, as tax administrations gather a sizable amount of damaging material during tax investigations. She did point out that getting permission from the foreign jurisdiction for non-tax purposes is required before providing such material to domestic law enforcement organisations.
The finance minister applauded the Global Forum’s most recent report, which aims to make it easier to get permission from other countries to use data gained through tax treaties for non-tax purposes. The report’s recommendations are anticipated to increase the effectiveness and timeliness of gaining consent, enabling more seamless information exchange between law enforcement organisations.
In her speech at the G20 High-Level Tax Symposium, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman emphasised the significance of strengthening the international framework to tackle financial crimes and money laundering successfully. She urged continuing cooperation across jurisdictions and drew attention to India’s efforts to develop its capacity for tax and financial crime investigation. To achieve a more coordinated and successful strategy for combating financial crimes, Sitharaman also emphasised the need to address rising dangers, research fresh approaches, and streamline information-sharing procedures. The international community can better protect the integrity of the global financial system by fostering international collaboration and implementing comprehensive measures.