India wants Swiss govt to fast-track black money info

Formal note being sent, says Jaitley
Last Updated 23 June 2014, 21:02 IST

As Switzerland renewed its commitment to work with the new Indian government in its fight against tax evasion, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said he would write to Swiss authorities seeking to expedite information sharing on Indians having unaccounted wealth in their treasuries.

Sources close to Jaitley told Deccan Herald that a formal communication is being sent to the Swiss government seeking detailed information on the names of Indians and entities having parked funds in their banks since the Indian side has not been apprised officially.

The official level communication started a day after a Swiss government official said that authorities were in the process of sharing the names of such persons and entities with India.

The finance minister clarified that the government was writing to the Swiss authorities to expedite the process.

“We are today writing ourselves to the Swiss authorities with whom the ministry has been in touch so that details with regard to whatever information the authorities have can be expedited and the cooperation between the Swiss authorities and the Government of India can bring fruitful results. Our communication will be sent today itself,” Jaitley told mediapersons.

“News has appeared in various sections of the media quoting Swiss authorities that they are willing to actively cooperate with the Government of India in giving details about Indians who hold bank accounts in the Swiss banking system,” he said.

Bowing to Supreme Court orders, the BJP-led government constituted a special investigative team (SIT) to unearth unaccounted wealth in overseas tax havens on the day it assumed office.

The party in its poll manifesto had said it was committed to initiating the process of tracking down and bringing back black money stashed in foreign banks and offshore accounts. The party had said that it would treat the issue on a priority basis.

To give a fillip to the government’s efforts, the Reserve Bank of India has asked all banks and financial institutions to provide information and documents sought by SIT.

“All the banks and financial institutions (FIs) are advised to ensure that information/documents required by the SIT are made available as and when required,” the Reserve Bank said in a notification.

(Published 23 June 2014, 21:02 IST)

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