One trillion dollars is taken out each year by these white-collar criminals. Imran Khan

ISLAMABAD ( STAFF REPORT )
Pakistan appreciates the initiative by Nigeria and Norway to establish the Panel on International Financial Accountability. Prime Minister Imran Khan said Each year, billions of dollars illicitly flow out of developing countries. My Government came with a robust public mandate to get rid of this menace from our country. We have taken several initiatives domestically. What is needed, what is required is strengthening international cooperation to bring perpetrators of financial crime to justice.
We welcome the Interim Report of the FACTI Panel. The figures of illicit flows mentioned in the Report are staggering.
One trillion dollars is taken out each year by these white-collar criminals. Twenty to forty billion dollars is in the form of bribes received by these corrupt white-collar criminals. Seven trillion dollars in stolen assets is parked in safe tax “haven” destinations. Five to six hundred billion dollars is lost each year in tax avoidance by multinational companies.
He said this bleeding of the poorer and developing countries must stop. International community must adopt decisive actions and these are ones I propose:
One, the stolen assets of developing countries, including the proceeds of corruption, bribery, and other crimes, must be returned immediately.
Two, the authorities in “haven” destinations must impose criminal and financial penalties on their financial institutions which receive and utilize such money and assets.
Three, the “enablers” of corruption and bribery, such as accountants, lawyers and other intermediaries, must be closely regulated, monitored and held accountable.
Four, the “beneficial ownership” of foreign companies must be revealed immediately upon inquiry by interested and affected governments.
Five, multinational corporations must not be allowed to resort to “profit-shifting” to low tax jurisdictions for avoiding taxation. A global minimum corporate tax could prevent this practice.
Six, revenues from digital transactions should be taxed where the revenues are generated, not elsewhere.
Seven, Unequal investment treaties should be discarded or revised and a fair system for adjudication of investment disputes set up.
Eight, all official and non-official bodies set up to control and monitor illicit financial flows must include all the interested countries.
Nine, the UN should set up a mechanism to coordinate and supervise the work of the various official and non-official bodies dealing with illicit financial flows to ensure coherence, consistency and equity in their work.
The need of developing countries to protect and preserve their precious resources has become even more vital because of the recession triggered by COVID-19 pandemic.
Finally, I would say, that unless these steps are taken, the difference between the rich and poor will keep growing. The developing countries will get impoverished and what we see of the current migration crisis, this will be dwarfed by what will happen in the future, if this gulf keeps growing.
Around one billion people – almost 15 percent of the world’s population – survive in poverty, lacking the income and capabilities to live with dignity.

Addressing an other meeting Pakistani Prime Minister said that Poverty imposes massive human suffering. It is the most pervasive violation of human rights. It is also the root cause of socio-economic instability, and of most political and security problems across the world.

It is thus only right that poverty eradication is the first among UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.Over the past 30 years, poverty had visibly declined. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered the worst global recession in over a century. One hundred million people are likely to be pushed back into extreme poverty. A decade’s development could be reversed.

The COVID virus does not discriminate; but it is the poor and vulnerable who have suffered the most from it.

In Pakistan, we have been able to control the virus through our strategy of “smart lockdowns”. My Government has done its utmost to shield the poor and the vulnerable. Despite our financial difficulties, we implemented a $1.25 billion package to deliver emergency cash to over 15 million families, covering over a 100 million people.

My Government is implementing a multi-sectoral poverty alleviation programme – Ehsaas (which means compassion in Urdu). It is the largest poverty eradication programme in Pakistan’s history.

 My Government is committed to reducing poverty from 24.3 per cent to 19 per cent by 2023. My aim is to create an Islamic welfare state based on the principles of Riasat-e-Madina through inclusive equitable growth and economic modernization.

As the UN Secretary-General has observed: “Inequality is the hallmark of our times”.

Today, the 26 richest people in the world own as much wealth as half the world’s population does. The richer countries have mobilized over $10 trillion to recover from the COVID crisis. The developing countries on the other hand are struggling to find even a small fraction of the $2.5 trillion they need.

Apart from the direct attack on poverty, we need to address its systemic causes. At the national and international levels, the structures of finance, production and trade must be made fair and equitable. The exploitation of the resources of the poor countries must stop. The illicit flows of the fruits of corruption and crime must be halted and the stolen assets returned to the countries of origin. And, developing countries must be helped to recover from the COVID crisis, to realize the SDGs and to ward off the impacts of climate change.

The financial resources needed by the developing countries must be mobilized, through debt relief – which I called for last April; the creation of new Special Drawing Rights; and expanded official development assistance.

The realization of the SDGs can be accelerated, especially through major investments in sustainable infrastructure – in renewable energy, transport, housing, water and sanitation. New technologies must be mobilized and the digital divide bridged to enable developing countries to leapfrog into a modern development paradigm.

I am confident that this important event will contribute significantly to our collective fight against global poverty and the promotion of SDGs Imran khan said .

 

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