UNITED NATIONS: India has called on the UN to provide a transparent platform for all member states to have an equal voice on international taxation, an issue that is perceived as "skewed" in favour of those who make the rules.
Speaking at a meeting on International Cooperation in Tax Matters, Counsellor in India's Permanent Mission to the UN Ashish Sinha said India has been of the view that the Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters Committee should be upgraded into an intergovernmental body.
"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," he said.
Sinha stressed that 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 can provide this platform for open, transparent and inclusive processes to safeguard the interest of all its members. 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," he said.
The Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters is a subsidiary body of the Economic and Social Council.
It provides a framework for dialogue with a view to enhancing and promoting international tax cooperation among national tax authorities and assesses how new and emerging issues could affect this cooperation.
Sinha added that 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.
He said in order 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 domestic 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," he said.
He added that 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.