Indian Minister Jitendra Singh on Sunday met visiting British Minister Tom Tugendhat and called for broader cooperation between India and UK in sharing Information and Communication Technology (ICT) innovations, promoting cross-sector cooperation and forging partnerships to prevent and combat corruption.
The two leaders met in the East Indian city of Kolkata on the sidelines of the G20 Anti-Corruption Ministerial Meet.
Stating that both countries are striving to create a more transparent and corruption-free society, Jitendra Singh, a Minister of State of Science and Technology, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has reiterated that India has a strict policy of zero tolerance against corruption.
Singh also called for wider cooperation between the two countries in sharing Information and Communication Technology (ICT) innovations, promoting cross-sector cooperation and forging partnerships to prevent and combat corruption.
Tugendhat renewed the UK’s offer that India, being a signatory to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC), also implement Article 16 of UNCAC that deals with bribery of foreign public officials (foreign bribery).
He also called upon India to sign the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions, also known as OECD Anti-Bribery Convention of which Britain is a member.
The Indian lawmaker stated that India has already ratified the UNCAC.
“On December 1, 2022, India, led by PM Modi, assumed the G20 presidency amidst global crises. Embracing India’s message of 'Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam', both developed and emerging economies of G20 have come together for sharing responsibilities in tackling critical global issues like fighting corruption,” he said.
Singh said steps have been taken to ensure transparency and accountability in the functioning of the government.
This includes the adoption of e-governance, implementation of the Aadhaar system for direct benefit transfer, procurement reforms and citizen charters in public offices.
The MoS said India actively participates in the G20 Anti-Corruption Working Group (ACWG) forum and related joint meetings.
“Under India's leadership, the G20 ACWG has achieved significant milestones, including the adoption of three sets of High-Level Principles and hosting three successful Working Group Meetings. This will give political impetus to the ongoing momentum of facilitating international collaboration and enhancing accountability in the fight against corruption,” he said.