India, Switzerland discuss ways to combat black money, tax evasion

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 01 Sep 2017 09:10:08



WAYS to effectively combat black money and tax evasion figured extensively during talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Swiss President Doris Leuthard, who expressed strong commitment to help India to deal with the problem.

Modi thanked Switzerland for helping India become a member of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), a multilateral export control regime, and consistently supporting New Delhi’s bid for membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). Describing their talks productive, Modi said transparency in financial transactions is a major global challenge and that cooperation between India and Switzerland over it will continue further.

“Be it black money, dirty money, hawala transaction or money related to arms and drugs, our cooperation with Switzerland continues to deal with the global curse,” the Prime Minister said in a statement to the media.

The Swiss President exuded confidence that a law on ensuring automatic exchange of information relating to tax would be cleared by the Swiss parliament by end of the year and her country will be able to exchange first set of information with India by 2019. “We hope by end of this year, this (law on automatic exchange of information) will be passed and be operational by 2019 when the first exchange can take place,” she said, adding India and Switzerland can go hand-in-hand to ensure financial transparency. The issue of black money has been a matter of major debate in India and Switzerland has been long perceived as one of the safest havens for the illicit wealth allegedly stashed abroad by some Indians.

In his comments, Modi also referred to the joint declaration on exchange of information relating to tax signed by the two sides last year.

“Last year we signed a joint declaration relating to automatic exchange of information relating to tax. As per its provision, after completion of the internal process in Switzerland, information will be shared with us on automatic basis,” he said.

Leuthard said her country follows all international rules on financial transaction to ensure transparency, adding “we have probably today one of the strongest laws on money laundering”. The two sides also deliberated on further boosting ties in key sectors like trade and investment, infrastructure and energy while agreeing on the need to continue dialogue on a bilateral investment pact. Two pacts providing for cooperation in railways were also inked.