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  • Swiss DTAA to allow India access to banking info: Pranab

    Published on September 1, 2010

    The Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement signed with Switzerland will allow India access to banking details of its citizens in that country including for enforcement purposes, but it will be operational with prospective effect, Govt told the Lok Sabha.

    “This (DTAA) will provide us an opportunity to have the relevant bank information for taxation purposes,” Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said in a statement.

    However, he said the new provision will be applicable only for prospective information and not for past information.

    Mukherjee and Swiss Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey had signed the revised Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) in New Delhi on Monday.

    He said the Swiss Bank transactions were so strictly enforced that only once in 1945 the assets of the Nazi leaders who were subjected to Nuremberg trials were revealed by them.

    “Before and after that they have not revealed any such information. This (DTAA) will provide us an opportunity to have the relevant bank information for taxation purposes,” Mukherjee said.

    He said India has taxation agreements with many other countries using which the government can raise a demand for taxes.

    “But we cannot disclose this information to any authority including Parliament,” he said.

    With the signing of the amended protocol with Switzerland, the government would be able to share the information, which it would get, with Parliament, he said.

    Mukherjee said the Swiss authorities have been refusing to share any banking information with departments other than Income Tax.

    ” The provision was that it will be given only to the Income Tax Department and the Income Tax Department can use it only for its own purposes of making assessment of income tax and wealth tax, but they cannot transfer it to other authorities”.

    “For instance, even they cannot give it to the Enforcement Directorate, if there is a case of money laundering. That provision will also be made available,” Mukherjee said.

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