On Board Special Air India: Amid growing
concerns over flow of black money into the country, India
and Mauritius have agreed on convening a meeting of Joint
Working group to renegotiate 28-year-old Double Taxation
Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) treaty between the two countries.
This was stated by President Pratibha Patil while
talking to reporters on board the special plane during her
return from the five-day visit to the Island nation.
While terming her visit to this country as a success
which ensured "deeper, strengthened and more diverse
partnership", the President said Mauritius expects India to
play an important role "which we are ready to fulfil."
Listing the highlights of the visit, she said her
discussions focused on a diverse range of issues covering
multi-sectoral and vibrant bilateral partnership.
"While expressing satisfaction over the current state of
our relations, we did feel that the already considerable and
growing opportunities could be exploited particularly in the
area of trade and economic cooperation.
"It was agreed to convene the next meeting of the Joint
Working Group on the Double Taxation Avoidance Convention,"
President`s comments assume significance in the backdrop
of growing demand from Finance Ministry to re-negotiate the
1983 tax treaty with Mauritius so that India could have access
to banking details besides tax related information.
The move was also aimed at preventing generation of black
money and to stop re-routing of funds through Mauritius.
The Finance Ministry had recently asked the External
Affairs Ministry to tighten the Double Taxation Avoidance
Agreement (DTAA) between the two countries.
Re-negotiation includes specific provision of sharing of
banking information and also an article on assistance in
collection of taxes. Mauritius accounts for nearly 44 per cent
of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into the country.
Security agencies have been raising concerns over use of
the Mauritian route to pump in black money into India
especially in the telecom and real estate sectors.
About her visit, the President said she had sought
further consolidation and expansion of bilateral cooperation.
"I am confident that my interactions with the leadership
of Mauritius will provide a greater momentum and thrust to our
partnership," she said.
"We have agreed to enhance exchanges in the fields of
higher education, information technology, science and
technology, tourism, hospitality, culture, rural development
and Ayurveda," she said.