India starts getting black money info from Switzerland
The Finance Ministry on Tuesday said it has started receiving banking and tax-related info from Switzerland, a development that will help India in combating the black money menace and bring back funds stashed abroad.
"We are getting information from Switzerland...they will also provide information regarding tax-evasion cases," a senior Finance Ministry official said.
India and Switzerland had signed a protocol in August last year seeking to revise the Double Tax Avoidance Agreement (DTAA).
The European nation, the official said, has communicated to India that all legal requirements and procedures for giving effect to the protocol had been completed.
Geneva has also communicated to New Delhi, "The protocol comes into effect from October 7, 2011 and now it would be possible for India to obtain banking information in special cases from Switzerland commencing from April 1, 2011".
On a query whether Swiss authorities would provide more information on 700 bank accounts allegedly held by Indians in HSBC Bank, Geneva, Swiss Ambassador to India Philippe had said yesterday that his Government would respond to all legitimate requests by India.
As per the treaty, both the governments are entitled to release data in cases which has been defined in the treaty, the Ambassador had said.
Currently, the Indian government is looking into looking into details of Swiss bank accounts provided by French authorities.
As per a Swiss National Bank data, Indians held Rs 9,295 crore in 2010 in banks of Switzerland.
India has been trying to combat the menace of black money and bring back the illegal funds stashed abroad.
Besides taking various steps at home, India has been negotiating and re-negotiating tax treaties with several countries and tax havens.
It has also taken up the issue of tax havens at international fora like G-20 and persuaded the world leaders to take up its concern globally.