New Delhi: Oxfam India has called for an immediate dismantling of the tax haven after the leak of millions of documents, dubbed the ‘Pandora Papers’, which exposed the offshore financial assets of wealthy individuals in 91 countries and territories, including India.
Documents leaked on Sunday and a worldwide journalism partnership claimed to have exposed the financial secrets of current and former world leaders, politicians and public officials.
The ‘Pandora Papers’ names 300 Indians, including Sachin Tendulkar, Anil Ambani, Nirav Modi and Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw.
Calling for the abolition of tax havens, Oxfam India CEO Amitabh Behar said this is yet another shocking revelation of the oceans of money surrounding the darkness of tax havens of the world, which should take immediate action, as long has been promised.
He said whenever a politician or business leader claims there is ‘no money’ to pay for health, education, climate damage, innovation and proper COVID recovery, they know where to look.
“Tax havens cost governments around the world $427 billion each year. Developing countries are being affected the most, proportionately. Corporations and the wealthiest people using tax havens are outpacing those There are those who don’t. Tax havens also help crime and corruption flourish,” he said.
Behr said such tax havens are stretching global inequality to the breaking point while the world is experiencing the biggest increase in extreme poverty in decades.
“Abolishing tax havens can go a long way toward ensuring that governments actually have access to the tax revenues they need for quality public spending, while at the same time giving governments access to social welfare and Public services must continue to spend more. The current budget allocation is at least for providing minimum services of health and education for all.”
Oxfam sought to end tax secrecy on individuals, offshore and multinational corporations.
“Establish a public register on bank accounts, trusts, shell companies and the actual owners of assets. Multinational corporations are required to publicly report their accounts where they do business, country-by-country. Use of automated exchange increasing, allowing revenue officials access to the information they need to track money,” Oxfam said in a statement.
The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), which included the BBC and ‘The Guardian’ newspapers in the UK and ‘The Indian Express’ in India, claimed among 150 media outlets that it had received a trove of more than 11 .
9 million confidential files to trace the secret financial transactions of many super rich.
‘Pandora Papers’ is a follow-up to a similar project released in 2016, called ‘Panama Papers’ compiled by the same journalist group.