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Money Laundering to Become Difficult FM

Jaitley says real-time exchange of info will make life difficult for law breakers soon

Tax evasion and money laundering will become extremely difficult going ahead, finance minister Arun Jaitley has said, warning lawbreakers that real-time global automatic exchange of information system will come into effect. “I am quite certain that the activity is going on in that direction and the next 1-2 years are also going to bring significant results because with almost real-time exchange of information, lives are going to become extremely difficult as far as lawbreakers in that regard are concerned,“ the minister said in his inaugural speech at international conference on 'Networking the Networks'.

Jaitley said tax evasion and stashing away illegal money anywhere in the world is becoming increasingly difficult after a G20 initiative that is being taken up by various international agencies.

The initiative, firmed at the Australia summit of G20 last November, is a new global arrangement under which countries will begin automatic exchange of tax information in stages beginning April 1, 2017. India, one of the early adopters, will begin sharing from the first date. The OECD has also recently announced the rules for the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) framework, which seeks to ensure that trans-nationals pay tax at least at some place.

“The world is also increasingly moving towards a situation where you can't shift the profits that you earn in one jurisdiction and erode the capital base of that jurisdiction itself,“ the finance minister said. Jaitley said a regional centre for South Asia is also going to be discussed to strengthen international cooperation with regard to money laundering and tax evasion. The South Asian Regional Intelligence Coordination Centre is likely to be set with Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Maldives and India as its members. “Once it is operational, it will allow South Asia Region to connect with other regional and global platforms and allow quick and secure information exchange to combat global crimes,“ Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia said.

The Economic Times, New Delhi, 3rd Nov. 2015