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India to get bank info from Switzerland on liberal terms

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, April 30, 2012
First Published: 23:24 IST(30/4/2012) | Last Updated: 00:09 IST(1/5/2012)

Switzerland has agreed to provide India with the identity of persons on liberal terms, a move that is expected to lift the veil over names of “black money” account-holders in the alpine nation famous for decades as a centre of secretive numbered accounts that aid political corruption worldwide.


Under a mutual agreement reached on April 20 between the two countries, Switzerland has agreed to give liberal interpretation to the provisions concerning identities of Indian citizens, a finance ministry statement issued on Monday said.

“It is sufficient if the requesting state identifies, the person by other means than by 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,” the statement said.

According to the existing treaty, India has to compulsorily provide the name of the person under examination as part of the identity requirements without which the information will not be shared.

“This was a restrictive provision and not in line with the international standards,” the statement said.

“This agreement is beneficial to India because it gives liberal interpretation to the identity requirements for exchange of information which India will be seeking from Switzerland and is in line with international standards. 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 statement said.

India had signed the agreement with Switzerland to revise their bilateral taxation treaty in August 2010. The revised treaty was approved by Swiss Parliament in June 17 last year.

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