General Assembly General Assembly

Special Meeting on International Cooperation in Tax Matters

(ECOSOC Chamber: May 18, 2018)

India’s Intervention  

Mr. Ashish Sinha, Counsellor


Thank you Mr. Vice President for arranging this meeting and also for giving me the floor,

Good afternoon colleagues,

India associates itself with the statement made by the distinguished representative of the Egypt on behalf of the Group of 77.

At the outset, I would like to welcome the new membership of the Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters and congratulate them for their extensive work this week. During its tenure, we look forward to committee’s engagement on important issues of international cooperation in Tax issues resulting into enhancing domestic resource mobilization. My delegation would also like to recall the important contributions made by the previous membership of the committee. We also take note of organization of the first global conference by the Platform for Collaboration on Tax in February this year.

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 should continue its 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 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. 

Mr. President,

India has been of the view that the 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. 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.

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.

Mr. President,

In the meanwhile, as mentioned by the G77 Chair, India has come forward to ensure that the committee has resources to better organize its work and support the travel of members from developing countries for attending its sub-committee’s meetings. I am happy to inform that India will continue its contribution to the Voluntary Trust Fund of the committee this year as well. We hope that other members too would make contributions to the trust fund of the committee to carry out its mandate more effectively.

Mr. President,

Let me conclude by congratulating you for your leadership in facilitating this special meeting with the Committee. Looking back, we feel that the decision of holding of one session of the Committee in New York in the spring and another in Geneva in the fall was an important milestone in its integration with the related processes like follow up on Financing for Development and the High Level Political Forum. As the committee is better resourced and has increased representation from the developing countries, we look forward to continuation of its excellent work and taking up new and emerging issues in this important area of work.

I thank you.