First G20 Anti-corruption Working Group Meet concludes. (Pib)

New Delhi, March 3 (IANS) The first meeting of the G20 Anti-corruption Working Group (ACWG) that began on March 1, concluded on Friday with a call for strengthening law enforcement cooperation for action against corruption and related economic crimes.

Rahul Singh, Additional Secretary, DoPT & Chair, G20 ACWG said that over the past three days, there have been intensive and productive deliberations on several key focal areas pertaining to asset recovery, fugitive economic offenders, formal and informal channels of cooperation for information sharing, institutional frameworks for combating corruption and mutual legal assistance, among others.

This included presentations and interventions by country delegates and experts from UNODC, OECD, Egmont Group, Interpol and IMF.

Rahul Singh along with Giovanni Tartaglia Polcini, Head of Task Force, Co-chair, G20 ACWG, Italy, addressed the media at the end of the ACWG meeting.

The ACWG meeting was enriched by keynote addresses by dignitaries including Girish Chandra Murmu, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, Praveen Kumar Srivastava, Central Vigilance Commissioner of India, Nitin Gupta, Chairman, Central Board of Direct Taxes, Sanjay Kumar Mishra, Director Enforcement Directorate and Subodh Kumar Jaiswal, Director, Central Bureau of Investigation.

Rahul Singh further said that it has been the endeavour of the delegates during the deliberations to arrive at a consensus on the draft text of the High-Level Principles that are on the agenda for the ACWG during India’s G20 Presidency.

He said that considerable progress has been made in discussing the high-level principles on improving information sharing for fighting corruption and related economic crimes, strengthening asset recovery mechanisms related to corruption and related economic crimes, strengthening law enforcement cooperation for action against corruption and related economic crime, and promoting the integrity and effectiveness of public bodies responsible for Preventing and Combating Corruption.

The official further said that on the first day of the ACWG, a side event was held on leveraging ICT to curb corruption in the public sector, an area in which India’s recent initiatives like the GEM Portal and DBT have been globally recognised.

During this event, leading experts from India showcased how India has adapted the power of the ICT to curb corruption in public service delivery.

Over 90 delegates participating from 20 member countries, 10 invitee countries and 9 international organisations attended the first meeting of the G20 ACWG.

An official said that India placed on record sincere appreciation and gratitude for the presence of Italy as the co-chair of the G20 ACWG.