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Switzerland to send official for black money talks

Swiss govt would send a secretary for international financial matters to India on June 14 to explore enhancing cooperation on the issue.

Published: 07th June 2016 04:30 AM  |   Last Updated: 07th June 2016 04:30 AM   |  A+A-

NEW DELHI: Bern on Monday assured New Delhi of deeper cooperation in its efforts to unearth black money stashed by Indians in Swiss banks as it agreed to send here a top official to deliberate on the issue extensively.

While raising the issue of black money and tax evasion by Indians, Swiss President Schneider-Amman offered to extend the level of cooperation.

Swiss President said his government would send a state secretary for international financial matters to India on June 14 to explore enhancing cooperation on the issue.

The move is seen significant as brining back black money from foreign shores was a major electoral promise of Modi in the run- up to the Lok Sabha polls in 2014.

“Combating the menace of black money and tax evasion is also our shared priority. We discussed the need for an early and expeditious exchange of information to bring to justice the tax offenders. An early start to negotiations on the Agreement on Automatic Exchange of Information would be important in this respect,” Modi said.

On his part, the Swiss President said India and Switzerland were making “considerable progress” in fighting tax fraud and evasion.

“The delegations also discussed financial policy matters. Switzerland and India stressed their shared resolve to take action against tax fraud and tax avoidance and underlined the high quality of their cooperation in this area,” according to a statement issued by the Swiss government.

Indian tax authorities are probing a number of cases of tax evasion and black money stashed abroad. The probe had gained momentum after a leaked list of hundreds of Indian clients of HSBC’s Geneva branch found its way to the Indian tax authorities. Swiss banks, known for their banking secrecy practices, have come under global pressure as countries, including India, are stepping up efforts to crack down on the black money menace.

Switze.jpgAs part of its bilateral treaty for administrative assistance and the exchange of information with Switzerland, India has sought details about numerous individuals and companies from the Alpine nation as part of its crackdown against those stashing black money in Swiss banks. Last month, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said India had signed an agreement with Switzerland and received details of those people having HSBC accounts in that country.

“We completed assessment of those people who had accounts in HSBC, Switzerland. We assessed Rs 6,000 crore black money which was in HSBC. We filed criminal cases against them,” he had said.

India is keen on clinching a deal to ensure the automatic exchange of details of individuals failing to disclose their foreign assets.

Pressure on banks

Swiss banks, known for their banking secrecy practices, have come under global pressure as countries, including India, are stepping up efforts to crack down on the blackmoney menace. As part of its bilateral treaty for administrative assistance and exchange of information with Switzerland, India has sought details about numerous individuals and companies from the Alpine nation as part of its crackdown against those stashing black money in Swiss banks.

We discussed the need for an early and expeditious exchange of information to bring to justice the tax offenders. An early start to negotiations on the Agreement on Automatic Exchange of Information would be important in this respect

Narendra Modi, Prime Minister



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