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India among nations that responded to findings: Volcker

Source: PTI
February 18, 2007 17:29 IST
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Paul Volcker, who led the United Nations probe into Iraq's food-for-oil scam, on Sunday said India was among the countries that "responded" to his findings in which the Congress party and former external affairs minister Natwar Singh were named.

"The Indian government has responded and the facts certainly speak for themselves," he told reporters on the sidelines of the FICCI-hosted South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation conference in which he gave a detailed account on how corrupt acts hamper growth and foreign investment.

Volcker said while some countries responded well to his findings, many others, particularly smaller nations, have not taken steps to deal with corruption.

As far as the UN is concerned, it has done a lot of reforms on paper, but there has been no progress in the mechanism to enforce their implementation, he said.

The UN secretary general alone cannot implement them and there needs to be a person in administration with authority.

An outside oversight committee needs to be set up for better enforcement, said the former chairman of the US Federal Reserve.

Earlier, at the plenary of the SAARC conclave, Volcker said corruption was a tax on the poor and that good governance is "fundemental to sustained growth."

Corruption and infrastructure bottlenecks were two major impediments in emerging economies like India and other South Asian economies and there has to be greater transparency for more foreign inflows for infrastructure in particular, he said.

He also vouched for global standards of accounting to which over 100 countries have agreed while there has been very little movement on them in South Asia.

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