SAARC FM’s meet focussed on tax avoidance, trade ties: Das

Das added that there was special emphasis on the SDF and its funding.

The Dollar Business Bureau

The focus of the two-day meeting of SAARC Finance Ministers was to promote double tax avoidance and enhance trade ties among the member countries, Shaktikanta Das, Economic Affairs Secretary, who represented India at the meeting said.

“The focus of discussion was on economic issues and fostering a customs union, promoting double taxation avoidance between the SAARC nations, improved connectivity between the SAARC countries, increasing volume of trade, developing supply chain linkages between the SAARC countries,” Das told journalists on the sidelines of an event in New Delhi.

“There was special emphasis on the SAARC Development Fund (SDF) and its funding,” he added.

The meeting of the SAARC Finance Ministers concluded on August 26 in the capital city of Pakistan, Islamabad. Due to political reasons, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley did not attend the meeting.

The SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) is a geopolitical union and regional inter-governmental organisation in South Asia. The member nations include India, Afghanistan, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, the Maldives and Sri Lanka. 

“India has been a key contributor to the SDF. The country has given $100 million and till date the major focus has been on social sector projects. Currently, around 11 projects are in the implementation stage and now the focus is shifting on economic and infrastructure projects to be funded from SDF,” Das said. 

The Dollar Business Bureau - Aug 29, 2016 12:00 IST