PM pushes for recovery of national stolen assets

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-Seeks debt relief for developing countries
-Urges for end to illicit cash flow
-Asks int’l community to ensure availability of Vaccine for all
-Virtually addresses ECOSOC session

By Uzma Zafar

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan addressing Monday the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations said developing countries should be able to borrow at prevailing lower interest rates available to the developed countries. The world’s top banks including the IMF, World Bank have now ample capacity to enlarge concessional finances for the developing countries, PM Imran Khan suggested. “The liquidity and sustainability facility proposed by the Economic Commission for Africa could be one of the ways to achieve this,” said the PM.
He further said the Financial Accountability, Transparency and Integrity (FACTI) Panel has proposed 14 recommendations to stop the outflow of trillions of dollars from developing countries. “These recommendations should be endorsed by the United Nations and all other financial institutions.” The stolen assets of the developing countries must be immediately returned to them, he urged and added, “more importantly, unconditionally.” I proposed to FACTI Panel an imposition of global minimum corporate tax to avoid profit shifting and tax avoidance by large corporations, the PM told ECOSOC session.
“I endorse the US proposal for such a global minimum corporate tax as a moratorium should be declared on the exorbitant claim rates adjudicated against some developing countries in investment disputes,” Khan said. Unequal and exploitative investment agreements should be canceled and revised, he said. He also said the set of challenges posed by the Covid crisis “is also an opportunity to build back better”.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan Monday said the international community must ensure that the coronavirus vaccine was available to everyone, everywhere and as soon as possible, and if it were not done, the virus would roam around and come back. While making an opening statement at the special virtual segment of the United Nations’ Economic and Social Council on Financing for Development, he said the forum’s deliberations this year were critical as the world battled the coronavirus and its massive socio-economic fallout.
He said Pakistan contained the first two waves of the virus through “a policy of smart lockdowns.We implemented an eight billion dollar relief package to support the poor and vulnerable, and to keep our economy afloat at the same time. Now, he said, “unfortunately we are facing the third wave of the virus. Insha’Allah, we hope to defeat this wave as well. We need a lot of luck, as everyone does.” The prime minister stressed that the production of the vaccine must be ramped up, and the patent and technology-transfer restrictions should be waived to enable it.
“Vaccine nationalism and export restrictions are deplorable; as is the use of the vaccine to advance national foreign policy objectives.” He emphasized that the forum was an important opportunity to adopt decisions on ways to mobilize the money needed by developing countries to recover from the COVID-induced recession and restore them on the path to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
Moreover, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday said that his party has the utmost respect for the higher judiciary.
Talking to Attorney General Khalid Javed who called on him in Islamabad today, PM Imran said that respect of the judiciary is utmost necessary irrespective of the decision taken either in favor or against and that is the way to strengthen democracy. The prime minister maintained that he is grateful to the judiciary for its guidance. During the meeting, the attorney general briefed the prime minister about important cases.
Earlier today, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) had summoned estranged Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Jahangir Tareen, his son Ali Tareen and the JWD group’s secretary Shahid Saleem Rana, tomorrow (April 13) in alleged fraud and money laundering cases. Jahangir, Ali Tareen and Shahid Saleem Rana had been directed to appear before the Sugar Investigation Team along with the relevant record tomorrow.