BJP wants government to ratify UN convention against graft

Saturday, December 4, 2010

NEW DELHI - Accusing the government of delaying the ratification of the UN Convention against Corruption, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Saturday demanded that steps should be taken to bring back the country’s money illegally parked in banks abroad.

BJP vice-president Shanta Kumar told reporters that India was among 22 of the 148 countries which had not ratified the convention. India signed the convention in 2003.

I want an answer from the government. Why India has not ratified it, he said.

The BJP leader, who participated at a UN committee meeting in October and spoke at a session that discussed transfer of assets of illicit origins, said that Switzerland’s parliament passed a law earlier this year to facilitate return of assets to the country from where they had been siphoned off.

“Switzerland wants to give the money but India does not want to take it. It is money looted away from the country,” he said, adding that corruption was the biggest cause of poverty in the country.

Kumar, who is a Rajya Sabha member from Himachal Pradesh, said he raised the issue of India not ratifying the convention in the last session of parliament and asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh why the convention had not been ratified by the government.

The prime minister deliberately evaded the issue in his concluding speech in the house, he claimed.

The BJP leader said that he wrote a letter to the prime minister on the issue but he had only got an acknowledgement.

Till the time we ratify the convention, we will not be able to take effective steps to get our money back, he said.

He said 2010 will be remembered as the year of scams and 2011 should be observed as the year of fight against corruption.

The BJP leader said that the Benami Transaction (Prohibition) Act was passed in 1988 but the relevant rules had not been framed and no one had been arrested under it.

He said an estimated Rs.70 lakh crore were illegally parked in tax havens around the world.

Filed under: Immigration

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