As nations across the globe are in hot pursuit of tax evaders and terror financing, India and the US have agreed to step up their joint work in this area, while Washington has extended its support for India’s trillion-dollar infrastructure development needs.
Visiting Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and US Treasury Secretary Jacob J Lew met here Thursday evening for the 6th Annual US-India Economic and Financial Partnership, which was formed in 2010, and released a joint statement, covering collaborations in areas ranging from regulation to money laundering.
“We are committed to continued collaboration and sharing of experience in tackling offshore tax evasion and avoidance, including joint tax audits and examination. We look forward to the competent authorities of the two countries engaging in bilateral dialogue to move forward,” the statement said.
“We have enhanced our cooperation in tackling money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism through increased information sharing and cooperation, including a dialogue held recently in India,” the statement said.
“We both agree on the importance of fighting illicit finance in all forms as an important means of tackling global terrorism.”
On these fronts, the two governments have already forged an inter-governmental pact to share financial information under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act that. This act requires the US non-residents to share information on their financial assets and revenues outside the country once a year.
The dialogue under the partnership pact was held even as an Oxfam report said on Thursday that as many as top 50 US companies, including the likes of Apple, Walmart, General Electric, Microsoft, Google and Coca-Cola, have a whopping $1.4 trillion stashed in offshore tax havens.
The talks, held on the margins of the World Bank-International Monetary Fund Spring meetings here on Thursday — which also included Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan — also covered Infrastructure.
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