Govt declines to share black money details from Switzerland

The government has declined to share information on black money cases received from Switzerland, citing confidentiality.

Replying to an RTI query, the finance ministry said India and Switzerland share information on black money on a case-to-case basis as per the investigations being carried out.

It is an ongoing process, it added.

“The information shared by Switzerland on black money cases is governed by confidentiality provisions,” it said in reply to an RTI application.

The ministry was asked to provide details of black money cases received from Switzerland, including the names of firms and individuals, besides the details of action taken on the information.

India and Switzerland are signatories to Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters (MAAC). Indian and Switzerland have, for automatic sharing of financial account information between the two countries, signed a joint declaration on November 22, 2016, it said.

“The necessary legal arrangements have been put in place and from 2019 onwards, India will receive information of financial accounts held by Indian residents in Switzerland for the calender year 2018 and subsequent years,” the ministry said.

This, it said, will be useful in tracing unaccounted income and assets of Indian residents in Switzerland and bringing the same to tax.

There is no estimation of amount of black money in circulation both inside and outside the country, the ministry said.

The Finance Ministry was also asked to provide details of black money cases received from other countries.

It said, based upon the information received from France under the Indo-French Double Taxation Avoidance Convention, assessment proceedings have been completed in all 427 actionable HSBC bank account cases.

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Rohit Kumar founded Vimocafe in 2016. He covers Entertainment news from the Hindi, Tamil, Telugu and Kannada Film industries.