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India will ask Switzerland to ratify tax convention for disclosing bank accounts

LiveMint logoLiveMint 12-05-2014 Remya Nair

New Delhi: India will ask Switzerland to ratify a multilateral convention on mutual administrative assistance in tax matters to ensure it shares bank account details of Indian citizens alleged to have stashed money abroad, finance minister P. Chidambaram said in a press statement.

To end an era of banking secrecy, 46 countries, including Switzerland and Singapore, last week adopted the declaration for automatic exchange of information in tax matters under the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) where all the signatories committed to share financial information with each other.

“Efforts made by India and other OECD/G20 countries are bearing fruit. I believe the day is not far off when all major financial centres will be parties to an effective exchange of information on an automatic basis,” Chidambaram said.

India will pressurize Switzerland to ratify the convention as well as abide by its obligations under the OECD declaration to share information, he added.

India has been asking Switzerland to share information on bank account holders from the so-called HSBC list. India wants Switzerland to provide information on bank accounts held by Indians that were part of an HSBC Holdings Plc. list made available to India by the French government.

France last year provided a list of 700 Indian citizens who allegedly hold HSBC accounts in Geneva. The Swiss government, however, is not inclined to share information on what it perceives is stolen data.

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