FM Sitharaman discusses issues of anti-money laundering, terror financing with US Treasury Secy


Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen met on Thursday here for the 8th ministerial meeting of the India-USA Economic and Financial Partnership and had productive discussions on various subjects, including recovery from the pandemic, climate finance, and anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT).

In Joint Statement on the Eighth US-India Economic and Financial Partnership, the two sides reiterated that regular and productive dialogue on economic policies is crucial to the US-India relationship and to achieving their shared global future.
During the ministerial meeting, both ministers took stock of the extensive efforts that have already been undertaken by both sides to deepen mutual understanding and highlighted new elements of the vital bilateral relationship.

“We had productive discussions on a range of subjects, including the macroeconomic outlook and recovery from the pandemic, financial regulatory and technical collaboration, multilateral engagement, climate finance, and anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT),” US Treasury Department statement read.

“We continue to strengthen our cooperation in tackling money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism through increased information sharing and coordination. Both sides agree on the importance of fighting financial crimes and on the effective implementation of the Financial Action Task Force standards to protect our financial systems from abuse.”

The joint statement said both sides acknowledge the unprecedented impact that the COVID-19 crisis has had on lives and livelihoods.

“Today’s meeting featured the Economic and Financial Partnership’s first session dedicated to climate finance, reflecting our respective commitments to driving urgent progress in combatting climate change and the critical role of climate finance in achieving this shared global goal. We shared views on the re-energized global efforts to increase climate ambition as well as our respective domestic efforts to meet our publicly expressed climate goals,” the joint statement said.

Both sides agreed that public finance, when paired with enabling policies, can promote private finance. “We reaffirmed the collective developed country goal to mobilize USD 100 billion annually for developing countries from public and private sources, in the context of meaningful mitigation actions and transparency on implementation.”

According to the statement, the two sides expressed intent to engage further on addressing climate change between their two ministries, as well as through the Finance Mobilization pillar of the recently launched Climate Action and Finance Mobilization Dialogue (CAFMD) under the U.S.-India Climate and Clean Energy Agenda 2030 Partnership.”

Both sides affirmed their commitment to debt sustainability and transparency in bilateral lending. They also acknowledged the importance of working through multilateral development banks to help India access and mobilize available financing to support development objectives, including for climate.

The United States and India also welcomed the OECD/G20 Inclusive Framework political agreement on October 8 as representing a significant accomplishment for updating the international tax architecture to reflect the modern economy and establish an international tax system that is more stable, fairer, and fit for purpose for the 21st century.

“We should work together and with other partners at the technical level in order to expeditiously implement Pillars 1 and 2 by 2023. We take note of the progress made in sharing financial account information between the two countries under the Inter-Governmental Agreement pursuant to the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). The two sides should continue to engage in discussions on the full reciprocal arrangement on FATCA. The two sides look forward to continued collaboration for increased cooperation in sharing of information for tackling offshore tax evasion,” the statement said.

Both sides also expressed willingness to engage on global economic issues both multilaterally and bilaterally. “India and the United States look forward to continued collaboration to support the global recovery under the G20 Presidency of Indonesia next year. As India prepares for its 2023 G20 Presidency, the United States stands ready to support India in hosting a successful and productive year.”

The United States and India also noted the continued strong collaboration on financial regulatory issues, as well as, collaboration on attracting more private sector capital to finance India’s infrastructure needs, which will support growth in both countries.

“The United States continues to provide technical support to India’s National Infrastructure and Investment Fund (NIIF), including the scaling of debt and equity platforms devoted to renewable energy and implementing new environmental, social, and corporate governance policies to meet international standards, while catalyzing private institutional investment in Indian infrastructure,” the statement said.