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At G20, India to push for sharing of information, cutting remittance cost

IANS 07 Nov 2014, 10:13:08 AM IST

New Delhi: India will urge the G20 nations during the upcoming summit in Brisbane, Australia to reduce the cost of remittances as well as attempt to build consensus on sharing of information to prevent dodging of tax, Suresh Prabhu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'sherpa' for the deliberations, said here Thursday.

Briefing newspersons on the upcoming Nov 15-16 summit, Prabhu said the prime minister would be meeting a large number of leaders during the summit, with requests received for many bilateral meetings.

He said the grouping of 20 nations would push for strong collective action on climate change ahead of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Lima, Peru, in December.

"We will demand that the UNFCCC negotiations conclude faster," 'sherpa' Suresh Prabhu said.

A sherpa is a senior official responsible for preparing the agenda for leaders to consider during the summit.

He said India, which is the single largest recipient of remittances from abroad at $70 billion, more than the Philippines and China, would seek to reduce the cost of sending money home from abroad.

He said the high cost of remittances, which in some cases is as much as 10 percent, is a matter of concern, and termed it "ridiculous".

He said efforts would be made to reduce the cost to not more than 5 percent.

He said Saudi Arabia has agreed to reduce the amount charged for remittances to India to 3.5 percent.

Prabhu, a Shiv Sena leader and former union minister, said India has circulated a paper with the proposal for automatic sharing of information to prevent dodging of tax.

He said a proper database or a proper information platform was required for this.

Among other issues to be discussed would be social issues, of jobless growth where economies despite expanding are not creating jobs.

The Ebola disease would also figure in talks, with India saying there was need for global action and to take preventive steps.

Reforming of the global institutions, like the International Monetary Fund, would also figure.