India has a strict policy of Zero Tolerance against corruption, Prime Minister Modi asserts
Highlighting that the highest impact of corruption is borne by the poor and the marginalised, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called for collective efforts to combat the menace.

Addressing the G20 Anti-Corruption Ministerial Meet held in Kolkata on Saturday (August 12, 2023) via video message, Prime Minister Modi said that the collective efforts of G20 nations can significantly support the fight against corruption. A huge difference can be made through enhanced international cooperation and implementation of robust measures that address the root causes of corruption, he added.

“India has a strict policy of Zero Tolerance against corruption," Prime Minister Modi asserted as he underlined that India was leveraging technology and e-governance to create a transparent and accountable ecosystem.

Leakages and gaps in welfare schemes and government projects were being plugged in, the Prime Minister pointed out. This had resulted in hundreds of million people in India receiving direct benefit transfers amounting to more than USD 360 billion into their bank accounts, helping save over USD 33 billion, he explained.

During his address, he referred to the writings of Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore and cautioned against greed as it prevents us from realizing the truth. He also touched upon the ancient Indian Upanishads that strive for ‘Ma Gridha’, which translates to ‘let there be no greed’.

Prime Minister Modi spoke about the enactment of the Economic Offenders Act in 2018 and said that the government is aggressively pursuing economic offenders and informed about the recovery of assets worth over 1.8 billion dollars from economic offenders and fugitives. He also mentioned the Prevention of Money Laundering Act which has helped attach the assets of offenders worth more than 12 billion dollars since 2014.

Recalling his very first G-20 Summit in 2014, Prime Minister Modi said that he spoke about the challenges of fugitive economic offenders for all G20 countries and the Global South. He expressed happiness that decisive steps were being taken by the working group on the nine-point agenda for action against Fugitive Economic Offenders and Asset Recovery that he had presented at the G-20 Summit in 2018.

In his video message, Prime Minister Modi welcomed the action-oriented High-Level Principles on three priority areas, namely, law enforcement cooperation through information sharing, strengthening asset recovery mechanisms, and enhancing the integrity and effectiveness of anti-corruption authorities. He expressed delight that an understanding has been reached on informal cooperation between law enforcement agencies which will prevent criminals from exploiting legal loopholes when crossing borders.

The Prime Minister also highlighted the importance of timely asset tracing and identification of proceeds of crime and stressed the need to encourage countries to enhance their domestic asset recovery mechanisms.

He suggested that G20 countries could set an example by using non-conviction-based confiscations to expedite the recovery of foreign assets and said that it would ensure swift return and extradition of criminals after the due judicial process. “It will send a strong signal about our joint fight against corruption," he pointed out.