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After talks on terror, climate, Vijay Mallya, Modi concludes G20 Summit

Hamburg: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday left for home after concluding his engagements at the G20 Summit in Germany, where the theme this year was ‘Shaping an Inter-connected World’. Following the two-day summit, G20 leaders committed to keep markets open, focus on reciprocity and non- discrimination, fight protectionism, unfair trade practices.

“Goodbye Hamburg! PM emplanes for Delhi after a successful visit to Israel and G20 Summit,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay tweeted.

Modi had flown to Hamburg from Tel Aviv, Israel, on July 7 in what was the first visit of an Indian prime minister to the Jewish nation.

He pressed upon his British counterpart Theresa May to ensure UK’s cooperation to bring back economic offenders, amidst India working hard for the return of fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya and former IPL chief Lalit Modi.

Mallya has been in the UK for months, escaping arrest warrants against him, while a court in London is also hearing a case regarding his return to India.

Modi today met May during a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the G20 Summit here and sought UK’s help in this regard.

Both leaders also talked about the complete range of India-UK ties.

In a tweet after the meeting, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Gopal Baglay said the Prime Minister asked for UK’s “cooperation for return of escaped Indian economic offenders”.

On economic offenders issue, Baglay said, “you have seen our tweet”.

On whether cooperation from the UK was sought with just Mallya in mind, he said, “The tweet mentions economic offenders who have escaped from India and that is the answer”.

To a query on whether was Mallya in focus in terms of escaped economic offenders discussed with May, Baglay said, “We have put out a tweet and the term used there is a plural… it’s English language and people who know English should understand it”.

Asked whether all on the list were discussed and no specific names were mentioned, he said, “I won’t like to go into that and what we have said in the tweet is what our position is”.

He called on G20 nations to do more to encourage manpower mobility to bring net value to host and source nations. Modi while speaking at a session on Digitalisation, Women s Empowerment& Employment: Borderless digital world represents opportunities but also risks, highlighted India’s journey to the low-cost world-class technology. He also asked the member nations to promote digitisation for strengthening labour markets and improving delivery of services.

The Prime Minister expressed strong personal conviction for gender empowerment and said that there was no real growth without empowering women, External Affairs Ministry Spokesman Gopal Baglay said. At the end of the session, he also asked the G20 nations to create a strong partnership for skilling, including exchange of best practices.

India and other G20 members made a strong commitment to fight corruption, including in public administration, by putting in place necessary institutional frameworks in their respective countries.

The leaders today adopted ‘G20 High Level Principles on Organising Against Corruption’, which noted that corruption hampers the efficient and effective operation of government, as well as its fairness and impartiality of decision-making and the delivery of government services.

“A public administration, resilient against corruption, underpinned by a culture of integrity, accountability and transparency not only fosters citizens’ trust but can also affect the attractiveness of a country as a business location,” it added.

The G20 Anti-Corruption Action Plan 2017-2018 identifies public sector integrity and transparency including organising against corruption (such as structuring the public administration to detect and minimise corruption risks) as a priority.

Fighting corruption in public administration should not only focus on measures targeting individual employees, responses to reporting of corruption and effective law enforcement. It should also build upon a comprehensive, transparent and accountable organisational structure that makes public administration more resilient against corruption, it said.

G20 countries have already committed themselves to a number of measures to strengthen transparency and integrity in the public sector, including requirements for the conduct of public officials.

However, corruption prevention measures with regard to the organisational structure and work flow management are also essential for the fight against corruption, the leaders said.

Modi separately met Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

The G20, founded in 1999, comprises a mix of the world’s largest and emerging economies, representing about two-thirds of the world’s population, 85 per cent of global gross domestic product and over 75 per cent of global trade.

The members are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the UK, the US, and the European Union.

PTI