India steps up effort to unearth black money

India steps up effort to unearth black money

The nations included Switzerland with whom India  has signed Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreements  (ADTA) to share information to detect tax evasion.

“We have ADTA with nearly 78 countries, including Switzerland. We will negotiate with them to amend these agreements to share information relating to tax matters like detecting non payment of taxes,” Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said at an interactive sessions with members of the Indian Women Press Corps (IWPC) here on Friday.

“We will seek to insert clauses in the existing ADTA with various countries to share information. This will help us in detecting accounted money kept (by Indians) abroad,” he said in response to query about money stashed away in tax havens abroad.

Mukherjee said a high level Indian delegation would hold talks with the Swiss authorities in December this year to explore the scope for sharing of information on tax matters.

“Talks will explore the scope for amending the ADAT with Switzerland,” he said.
Pointing out that the Swiss laws on banking secrecy are very strict, Mukherjee said:  “We have been pursuing with the Swiss authorities (about cases of unaccounted money kept by Indians in Swiss banks). After our persuasion they have agreed to discuss and begin negotiations on the amendment of ADTA to share information.”

While holding talks with the Swiss authorities India would follow the code of the OECD in respect of taxation and exchange of information, he said.

The Swiss authorities are now willing to share information on tax matters with those countries, who adhere to article 26 of Model Tax Code evolved by the OECD, Mukherjee said.

Asked about progress of talks with Mauritius to amend ADTA to plug tax evasion, he said talks would be held soon.

The issue of bringing back accounted money popularly known as black money stashed away in Swiss banks had become a hot topic during the Lok Sabha elections earlier this year.

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