Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: In a move that could take the fight against black money to a significant level, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Switzerland to discuss with authorities the issue of illicit cash stashed in their banks.
PM Modi will embarked on a five-nation visit from June 4 which will cover Afghanistan, Qatar, Switzerland, the US and Mexico.
During his visit to Switzerland, the Prime Minister will hold talks with the Swiss leadership, including President Johann Schneider-Ammann, and is likely to seek cooperation to unearth black money accounts of Indians in Switzerland which was a promise made by him during elections in 2014.
According to sources, the officials of the two countries are working on finalising an arrangement that could pave the way for automatic exchange of information on tax-related issues.
The Switzerland government had on May 18 initiated consultation on an ordinance to put in place a mechanism for automatic exchange of tax information with India and other countries.
India and Switzerland are working "very closely" on sharing of information related to tax matters on suspected illicit money cases, a top Swiss official had said earlier.
Earlier in March this year, Swiss Ambassador to India Linus von Castelmur also said automatic exchange of tax information between India and Switzerland is expected to happen "rather soon".
"Switzerland and India are working very closely (on information exchange on tax matters)... We have received requests for exchange for information from Indian authorities," he told reporters here.
In recent months, Switzerland has disclosed names of more than a dozen Indians about whom information has been sought by the Indian government amid suspicion that their accounts in Swiss banks were being used for stashing illicit money.
Swiss banks, known for their banking secrecy practices, have come under global pressure as countries, including India, are ramping up efforts to crack down on the black money menace.
As per reports, Indians have stowed between $152-181 billion in black money overseas.
With Agency Inputs