Letters: OECD: Fact vs myth

Last Updated: Mon, Sep 05, 2011 20:02 hrs

Vrishti Beniwal’s article “Will not join rich men’s OECD for now: India” (August 23) paints a false and outdated picture. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) exists to deliver the best public policies in order to improve the economic and social well-being of people the world over. Stimulating economic progress and global trade is part of this bigger picture to which 34 democracies spanning all the major continents now subscribe. We are at the forefront of the global fight against corruption and tax-dodging that undermine fair and open societies, issues of particular concern to India as we saw at first hand in our recent visit to present the OECD’s recent survey of the Indian economy.

It is disappointing to see the old myth of a per capita income requirement for OECD membership rear its head. Spain and Turkey in 1960, Mexico or South Korea in the 1990s or Chile in 2010 could hardly be described as rich when they became members. Nor has any long-standing member currently undergoing economic difficulties in the current crisis been asked to leave! To join, the first requirement is the desire to do so on the part of the prospective member, backed up by a commitment and ability to meet OECD standards in a wide range of policy areas. Countries like Mexico and Chile have used the goal of OECD membership to overhaul their legislative and institutional frameworks to deliver better public policy and services in a host of areas including competition and corporate governance. As part of its accession process, Russia is on the verge of joining the OECD’s Anti-Bribery Convention.

India’s emergence and development goes hand-in-hand with a growing sense of responsibility for shaping world standards and best practices in public policymaking. Our co-operative relationship is long-standing and extending all the time. On tax for example, India is active in our Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes to close down tax havens. India also plays a leading role in the OECD’s multi-stakeholder Task Force on Tax and Development.

Anthony Gooch
Director, Public Affairs & Communications Directorate
OECD, Paris


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