Germany, Mauritius to aid India in curbing illicit wealth
Germany has assured finance minister Pranab Mukhejee that it would pass on information about Indian citizens holding secret bank accounts.
The assurance came at a bilateral meeting between Mukherjee and German finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble on the sidelines of the meeting of the G-20 finance ministers and central bank governors that concluded on Saturday.
Mukherjee appreciated the role of Germany in providing information about Indian citizens having secret bank accounts in the LGT bank of Liechtenstein.
Germany has also agreed to revise double taxation avoidance agreement (DTAA) and incorporate clauses to facilitate exchange of information between the law enforcement agencies of the two countries. The negotiations to amend the DTAA will start soon and Mukherjee has requested for early amendments to the tax treaty.
Under the existing treaty, Germany cannot share information for non tax purposes.
German tax authorities, Mukherjee added, need to share information with India's Enforcement Directorate, a body that deals with offences relating to violation of foreign exchange laws.
Meanwhile, Mauritius has provided the Indian authorities with banking information and other financial details on more than 90 cases of suspected tax evasion and financial malpractice over the past three years.
The Mauritian finance ministry said that the information sought by Indian authorities has been duly provided as per international norms. It said it has taken additional measures with respect to India.
"... With India, we have developed a mechanism to be in close consultation with the Indian authorities to deal with any issues that may arise. This includes the posting of an officer from the central board of direct taxes at the Indian high commission in Mauritius," the ministry said.