Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday urged the international community to take “firm action” against illicit cash flows and said that “stolen assets” from developing countries must be returned immediately.
Khan is speaking on the high-level panel on Financial Accountability, Transparency and Integrity (FACTI) on the sidelines of the ongoing United Nations General Assembly sessions.
The event was organized to “present the FACTI panel’s interim report, which identified major gaps in implementation and systemic deficiencies of the existing international framework for tax cooperation, anti-corruption (and) anti-money laundering”, the Prime Minister’s Office tweeted.
In his speech, Khan said, “The bleeding of these poor and developing countries must stop. The international community must take firm action … (and) the stolen developing country assets, including the proceeds of corruption, bribery and other crimes must be committed immediately. “
Every year billions of dollars are lost due to tax evasion by multinational companies. “Trillions of dollars in black money are stored in tax havens,” Khan said.
The prime minister said authorities at tax haven destinations should impose strict sanctions on financial institutions that accept or use illegal money and assets.
The prime minister also said that multinational companies should not use shifting profits to relocate their operations to low-tax jurisdictions in an attempt to evade taxes. Global minimum corporate taxes can prevent this practice.
Khan told the UN’s punishment that the need for developing countries to protect their valuable assets has become even more important due to the recession triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Unless these steps are taken, the difference between rich and poor countries will continue to grow. Developing countries will become poor,” he said.
Addressing other incidents of poverty, Khan said about one billion people – nearly 15 percent of the world’s population – live in poverty.
He said that although over the past 30 years poverty appears to be declining, the Covid-19 pandemic is triggering the worst global recession in more than a century and 100 million people are likely to be pushed back into extreme poverty.
He also called for an even distribution of wealth around the world.
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