Friday, 21 February 2014

Tracing blackmoney: FM P Chidambaram presses Switzerland to share banking information on tax defaulters

NEW DELHI: India has upped the ante against Switzerland to share banking information on tax evaders as part of its crackdown against black money in offshore accounts.
"All that we are trying to say is this exercise had started in 2011 and gathered pace in 2013. We faced numerous obstacles. Even now we have virtually no co-operation from a country like Switzerland...We are trying to get information through special efforts and alternative measures," finance minister P Chidambaram told reporters.
Chidambaram had written to his Swiss counterpart in December asking them to cooperate in sharing information about tax defaulters. The minister said the government had begun action in at least 84 cases while many more cases are being probed.
In his interim budget speech, Chidambaram said the government has succeeded through alternative methods and special efforts in obtaining information in 67 cases despite several hurdles in obtaining info from the countries concerned.
"Prosecutions for wilful tax evasion have been launched in 17 other cases. More enquiries have been initiated into accounts reportedly held by Indian entities in no tax or low tax jurisdictions," he said, adding that tax liability would be determined and wherever the law requires, penalty would be imposed.
The Opposition has repeatedly raised the issue of black money being stashed away by Indians in Swiss banks and is likely to do so in the run-up to the general elections.
Source : Economic Times

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