Saarc FMs meet focused on trade, tax avoidance pacts: Das

The two-day Saarc Finance Ministers meeting focused on promoting double tax avoidance and improving trade relations among member nations, said Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das, who represented India.

PTI| Last Updated: Aug 27, 2016, 20:34 PM IST

New Delhi: The two-day Saarc Finance Ministers meeting focused on promoting double tax avoidance and improving trade relations among member nations, said Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das, who represented India.

"The focus of discussion was on economic issues and fostering a customs union, promoting double taxation avoidance between the Saarc nations, improved connectivity between the Saarc countries, increasing volume of trade, developing supply chain linkages between the Saarc countries," he told reporters on the sidelines of an event here.

The Saarc Finance Ministers meeting concluded yesterday in Islamabad. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley did not attend the conference because of political reasons.

The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) is a regional inter-governmental organisation. Its member states include Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, the Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Das added there was special focus on the Saarc Development Fund and its funding.

"India has been a major contributor to the fund. We have given USD 100 million and so far the emphasis has been social sector projects.

"About 11 projects are under implementation currently and now the attention is on infrastructure and economic projects to be financed from the fund," he said.