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Switzerland willing to share info on bank accounts

business Updated: Oct 20, 2009 00:45 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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Switzerland on Monday hinted it would be willing to share information with India about the bank accounts of tax defaulters after the two sides revise the existing treaty on double taxation in December.

The representatives of both countries are expected to meet in Geneva to amend the existing treaty, which so far does not allow the details of bank account holders in Switzerland to be revealed.

“What the Indian side can expect is that once we — Indian and Swiss government — have agreed on a possible change in the existing treaty that Switzerland will implement the treaty,” the Swiss ambassador to India, Phillippe Welti told CNN IBN.

“The Indian government is entitled to submit requests for the purpose (of seeking bank account details). The Swiss government will be entitled to examine those requests. If those requests fit in to the provisions agreed upon then the release of data will be possible,” Welti said.

The opposition BJP had made the issue of black money stacked in Swiss banks one of its major campaign planks and was supported by other parties, including the Left on this issue.

The UPA government, after returning to power in May, had denied the charge of going soft on the issue. Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had told the parliament in July that the government was working on revising the secrecy clause in the “Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement with Switzerland.”

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