G-20 urges tax havens to share information

Cannes: In a major gain for India, the G-20 Summit on Friday asked tax havens to adopt prudential norms for sharing of tax information to check money laundering and funding of terror failing which it threatened action.

The Communique issued at the end of the 2-day meeting of the Summit attended among others by US President Barack Obama and host President Nicolas Sarkozy, also warned of action against jurisdiction and entities that will not cooperate in ensuring transparency in tax frauds.

"We underline the importance of comprehensive tax information exchange and encourage work in the Global Forum to define the means to improve it," the Communique said.

It called upon the nations to "adhere to the international standards in the tax, prudential and Anti Money Laundering/ Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) areas".

It also warned of its readiness to use its "existing counter measures" if they fail to enforce transparency measures.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who attended the Summit of 20 powerful economies, hailed the Communique saying it endorses India`s call for increased banking transparency and exchange of information to combat tax fraud and evasion and other illicit flows. "This was an important part of our agenda."

The Communique`s stand on the issue assumes significance in the context of raging debate in India on the black money stashed away abroad and the government`s attempts to bring it back from tax havens. .