Germany agrees to share info about secret A/cs

Germany has assured Indian Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee that it would pass on any information it will get about Indian citizens holding secret bank accounts.

Updated: Feb 21, 2011, 18:01 PM IST

Paris: Germany has assured Indian Finance
Minister Pranab Mukherjee that it would pass on any
information it will get about Indian citizens holding secret bank accounts.

The assurance came at a bilateral meeting between
Mukherjee and German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble on
the sidelines of the meeting of the G-20 Finance Ministers and
Central Bank Governors that concluded here on saturday.

Mukherjee appreciated the role of Germany in providing
information about Indian citizens having secret bank accounts
in the LGT bank of Liechtenstein.
Germany has earlier provided names of some Indians
having secret accounts in the Liechtenstein Bank.

"German Finance Minister ... assured him (Mukherjee)
that as and when they have such information, they will pass it
on to the Indian Government", said a release.

Germany, it added, has also agreed to revise Double
Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) and incorporate clauses to
facilitate exchange of information between the law enforcement
agencies of the two countries.
The negotiations to amend the DTAA will start soon,
the release said, adding Mukherjee has requested for early
amendments to the tax treaty.

Under the existing treaty, Germany cannot share
information for non tax purposes.

German tax authorities, Mukherjee added, need to share
information with India`s Enforcement Directorate, a body that
deals with offences relating to violation of foreign exchange
laws.

Raising similar issues with French Minister for
Economy, Industry and Employment Christine Lagarde, Mukherjee
said there was need to put pressure on tax havens to share
information to prevent money laundering.

Mukherjee also recalled the commitment of the French
Minister to share information on Indian monies in Swiss
banks, the release said.

The Indian Minister asked his French counterpart to
initiate early negotiations for amending the DTAA between the
two countries.

Lagarde said the French team was working on the
amendment proposed by India on the DTAA and the issue of
providing information for tax purposes would be discussed
shortly with Indian administration.

The two leaders also discussed a number of bilateral
and multilateral issues and underlined the need for greater
engagement between the two countries in the fields of energy,
nuclear power, water treatment etc.

PTI