Tuesday, November 28, 2023

FM issues statement on ED being used as a political tool

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She stated, “ED is entirely independent in what it does, it is an agency that pursues predicate offences,” at a media conference on her official visit to the US. She responded to a question about the Enforcement Directorate and Income Tax Department by stating, “The first offence is already picked up by any other agency, whether it be CBI or any other agency, and it is forced that ED comes into the picture. These institutions have been used to go after sections of private capital as well as civil societies. ED does not appear at first instance.

There are some cases that stand out so much that the ED goes there because they have prima facie evidence in their possession. Some of these cases have been featured in the media due to the amount of money, gold, and jewellery that have been confiscated. They must take action.

She also discussed the geopolitical difficulties facing the G20 and India’s strategy for navigating them.

“We spoke with numerous G20 members, and during the meetings, the issue of the Washington, DC, G20 FMCGB’s inability to produce the communique at all was raised. Indonesia had a very challenging year as the G20’s host nation, and even in this meeting, I can say that none of the meetings had that issue. They all eventually came up with a chair statement. I really commend the delegation leaders for working through the night to reach a decision. However, the communiqué was still completely impossible “She added.

She stated of India’s G20 Presidency: “We are taking Presidency at a time when there are many problems; we will have to work together with the membership to see how we can handle the whole thing.”

“There were 24 bilateral meetings; one was, of course, the FMCGB, which we had discussed at a formal breakfast that we had hosted. Other meetings included the FMCGB of the G20, the IMFC breakfast and plenary, the DC dinner, the disciplinary meeting with Indian industries and the SBI meeting, and the FICCI representative’s meeting with me. Naturally, the Indian Ambassador also hosted a meeting where some important US government leaders were present. In addition, it’s crucial to note that the secretaries and the Chief Economic Advisor have met individually with credit rating organisations and conducted 25 meetings with their counterparts. Rajat Mishra, an additional secretary, attended the annual plenary “Sitharaman remarked.

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