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An inter-governmental body would be essential to...
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Thank you Mr. President for giving me the floor,


Good afternoon colleagues,


We associate ourselves with the statement made by the distinguished representative of the Ecuador on behalf of the Group of 77.


At the outset, I would like to congratulate the Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters for their extensive work this week. Since this is the last session of this membership of the committee my delegation would like to compliment the members for important contributions the committee has made during their tenure. 


From the presentations made by the panelists this morning, one appreciates the important contributions made by the committee in developing important tools and guidelines as to how countries can work together on tax issues. In addition to its major accomplishments like the Manuals on UN Model Tax Convention, Transfer pricing,  Negotiations of Bilateral Tax Treaties between developed and developing countries and the Code of Conduct on Cooperation in Combating International Tax Evasion etc., the Committee has also done exemplary work in the area of capacity-building on international tax matters.


Mr. President,


While the work done by the committee for greater information exchange and capacity building is good, it cannot be a substitute for genuine and equitable multilateralism in deciding global norms and standards on taxation. 


To meet the ambitious targets of 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adequate means of implementation are required. Tax revenue is the most important means for the developing countries for mobilizing resources for meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Increasingly globalised nature of business in today's interconnected world requires tax policies with a perspective beyond national borders. More importantly, it requires international Cooperation and strengthening of institutional arrangements. 


Mr. President,


India is of the consistent view that the Committee should be upgraded into an intergovernmental body. This would be very crucial for the effective implementation of the 2030 agenda. Universal membership is essential for more effective implementation of tax standards and norms than the present system that is perceived as skewed in favour of those who make the rules. India believes that implementation of a truly universal agenda would need a platform where all countries have equal voice on the issues related to international taxation. UN is the only forum which can provide this platform for open, transparent and inclusive processes to safeguard the interest of all its members.


It is ironical that on one hand the 'domestic resource mobilsation through tax' is considered an important element in Financing for Development whereas on the other there is a continued resistance in equitable sharing of tax revenue on cross-border transactions. 


We look forward to upgradation of the Committee, to an inter-governmental subsidiary body of the ECOSOC, with experts representing their respective governments. This would provide the Committee an enhanced legitimacy, accountability and authority and consequently enhanced impact of its work. This would also strengthen the relationship between taxation and development by providing a voice to the developing countries and a balance between North and South.


Mr. President,


Let me conclude by congratulating you for your leadership in facilitating this special meeting with the Committee. We once again welcome the decision of holding of one session of the Committee in New York in the spring and another in Geneva in the fall. We look forward for the next membership of the committee, which hopefully would be better resourced and more members from developing countries, continuing the excellent work done so far and taking up new and emerging issues in this important area of work.


I thank you.

 


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