On Saturday, Nirmala Sitharaman, the Union Finance Minister, clarified how the much-discussed federal agency Enforcement Directorate (ED) operates and addressed the question of whether the Center is “using” it to pursue private capital.
Sitharaman was addressing the media when she was on an official trip to the US. She responded, “The Enforcement Directorate is fully independent in what it does; it is an agency that follows predicate offences,” when asked if it was a tool to target citizens.
There are some cases that “stick out so much,” she continued, “and ED goes there because of some prima facie evidence in their hands.”
In response to a query on how the Income Tax Department and Enforcement Directorate have been utilised to target both private capital and civic societies, she replied, “Any other agency, including the CBI, has already taken the first offence under their wing, necessitating the involvement of ED. At first instance, ED is absent.”
“There are some cases that stand out so much that the ED goes there because they have prima facie evidence in their possession. Some of these cases have been publicised in the media due to the amount of money, gold, and jewellery that have been seized. To take action, “Nirmala Sitharaman remarked.
During her official visit, the Union Finance Minister attended 24 bilateral meetings in the US.
She stated that India looks forward to concluding work with the World Bank during the future G20Presidency and that the World Bank has been a significant partner of the G20 since its inception.
FM Sitharaman also stated that India would like the G20 to look into the possibility of MDBs enhancing climate funding through resource leveraging and intermediation during its G20 Presidency.