• Sunday, July 21, 2024

HEADLINE STORY

India progresses in global terror index; scaling of efforts can save $159b to money laundering: report

According to a Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry CASCADE report, India has a Global Terrorism Index score of 7.43 and a crime index score of 44.7.

Representational Inage (iStock)

By: Shubham Ghosh

INDIA has made good progress in strengthening security measures in the past few years but scaling it further would save $159 billion (£130 billion) from laundering through illicit trade, a report said.

According to a Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) CASCADE report, India has a Global Terrorism Index (GTI) score of 7.43 and a crime index score of 44.7, reflecting fewer terror and crime incidents compared to the levels observed in 2016.

“Illicit trade undermines national security, risks legitimate manufacturing, leaks government revenue, jeopardises public health and safety, and erodes the trust of consumers and investors alike,” it said.

Tackling this issue is fundamental for safeguarding India’s economic stability, ensuring fair competition, and fostering an environment conducive to sustainable growth and ease of doing business, it said.

Tax authorities play a crucial role in the fight against illicit trade in its entirety, it said.

Anil Rajput, Chairman of FICCI CASCADE, highlighted the steps taken by the government to choke terror funding and illicit trade channels.

“In recent times, he said the prime minister has been emphasising the need to eliminate the streams of terror funding in order to protect our communities and economy.

Clearly, the fight against terror funding and illicit trade is beyond any country, region or industry, the report said.

A collective partnership of all compliant nations with the aim of promoting legal industry across the world, punishing the illicit traders and choking the flow of finance for terror funding is imperative, it said.

The Indian economy crossed the $3 trillion (£2.45 trillion) mark in 2021 with the total amount of money laundering in India as per UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime) estimates pegged at $159 billion, showing the magnitude of the problem driven by the rise of illicit markets and non-market actors, the report said.

As India strives to transform its economy into a $5 trillion (£4.09 trillion) powerhouse in the coming years, it said, the current trade composition at 30 per cent would make the trade value at $1.5 trillion (£1.22 trillion).

The report recommends adopting ‘6 Cs’ as a policy playbook to negate the threats posed by entities involved in illicit operations.

The report recommended adopting ‘6 Cs’ as a policy playbook to negate the threats posed by entities involved in illicit operations.

They include measures such as cognisance of terrorism and organised crime under regulatory framework, continuous and critical evaluation of illicit financial flows, central nodal agency for greater co-ordination, creating awareness and changing consumer preferences.

Beside, combatting trade-based money laundering and cooperation and coordination at the international level are some other measures suggested by the report. The report highlighted the role played by criminal networks in a number of illicit activities, including drug and human trafficking, smuggling of cigarettes, alcohol and illegal trade of wildlife products.

The United Nations estimates that the global amount of money laundered in a year is estimated to range from two to five per cent of the global GDP.

(With PTI inputs)

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