G-20 meet: Consensus still eludes on outcome

Last Updated: Friday, September 25, 2009 - 00:40

Pittsburgh: As the US stepped up efforts to clinch an agreement at the G-20 Summit here tomorrow for a sustainable economic growth, countries like India are still not ready for withdrawing the global economic stimulus package as they feel it is necessary to quicken the recovery process.
Despite differences, US officials are confident that a
broad consensus has been evolved at the preparatory meetings
on the need for higher capital reserve requirements in banks
and other financial institutions, the lack of which led to
collapse of institutions last year.

A US draft of the G-20 Summit says Washington wants
the other countries to agree to "mutual assessment" to be
monitored by International Monetary Fund to ensure that
"policies pursued by individual countries are collectively
consistent with more sustainable and balanced trajectories for
the global economy".

But there are countries like Germany and Brazil who
have expressed reservations against the draft while China and
Britain are not averse to such an agreement.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who is leading the
Indian delegation, is expected to put up a strong demand for
continuance of the economic stimulus package to quicken the
global recovery from the worst economic crisis seen since the
Great Depression Of 1930s.
G20 asked to tackle banking secrecy

The Global Financial
Integrity (GFI) today asked leaders of the G20 countries to
pursue measures to increase transparency in global finance and
curtail illicit financial flows.

"Despite the fact that wealthy nations are
experiencing a recovery from the global financial crisis
experts are warning that the worst may still be ahead for
developing nations," said GFI director Raymond Baker in a
statement.

The World Bank, he said, is predicting that 89 million
additional people may be pushed into extreme poverty by the
end of 2010 while the combined GDP of developed economies is
projected by the United Nations to shrink by 4.1 per cent.

"In the face of these dire forecasts having an
effective plan for bolstering economic development in emerging
economies is crucial," Baker said.

Hours before the G-20 summit was to start in
Pittsburgh, the GFI said discussions on development aid should
include examination of the link between the hundreds of
billions in illicit financial flows coming out of developing
countries each year, lack of progress achieving poverty
alleviation and development goals, and the role played by
facilitating secrecy jurisdictions.

"Every year the developing world loses as much as $1
trillion to government corruption, criminal activity, and tax
evasion," Baker said.

"Each country is different; depending upon the
geopolitical landscape, but the result is the same, money
flows abroad and disappears into secrecy jurisdictions and
other points of absorption in Western economies," Baker said.

The US, he said, has indicated it considers tackling
these outflows a part of "strengthening recovery in the
world`s poorest countries."

In a letter to colleagues by the US "Sherpa" to the
G-20 Michael Froman said: "as we take steps to increase the
flow of capital to developing countries, we also need to
prevent its illicit outflow. "

"The loss of these funds undermines economic
development efforts and forestalls good governance," Baker
said. "Staunching the outflow of hundreds of billions of
dollars is necessary and long overdue," he added.

Bureau Report



First Published: Friday, September 25, 2009 - 00:40

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