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05-01-2012, 12:01 PM #1
Black money: Switzerland to provide info to India on liberal terms
Switzerland has agreed to provide details of secret bank accounts of individuals sought by India even on the basis of limited information, which will make it easier to track down black money stashed abroad and bring tax dodgers to book. Under a mutual agreement reached on April 20, Switzerland has agreed to adopt a more liberal interpretation of provisions concerning identities of Indian citizens.
"It is sufficient if the requesting state identifies the person by means other than indicating the name and address of the person concerned, and indicates to the extent known, the name and address of any person believed to be in possession of the requested information," a finance ministry statement released on Monday said.
Until now, Switzerland had insisted that it was compulsory for the country to provide the name of the person under examination and the name of the foreign holder of the information. This had formed part of the identity requirements without which the information would not be shared with the other country. This was a restrictive provision and not in line with the international standards, the ministry said.
The new agreement was signed under the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) between the two countries. This contract is beneficial to India as it gives a more liberal interpretation to the identity needs for exchange of information which India will be seeking from Switzerland and is in line with global standards, the ministry added. The pact will allow liberal interpretation of Article 26, concerning exchange of information. "The conditions, as clarified by Switzerland, will enable India to get information even if we have only limited details regarding the person having bank accounts in Switzerland," the ministry said.
India had inked the pact with Switzerland to revise their bilateral taxation treaty in August 2010. The revised treaty was approved by Swiss parliament on June 17 last year.