Swiss President Doris Leuthard on August 31st said India is expected to get in 2019 the first batch of data relating to tax from Switzerland under a new framework for automatic exchange of information. After holding wide-ranging talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Leuthard said the framework is likely to be ratified by the Swiss parliament by end of the current year and expressed her government’s willingness to help India to deal with the problem black money.
Later a joint statement said that the two leaders look forward to the first transmission of financial account information between the two countries.
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. Last year, India and Switzerland signed a joint declaration relating to automatic exchange of information relating to tax.
“We hope by end of this year, this will be passed and be operational by 2019 when the first exchange can take place,” Leuthard told the media.
Both leaders emphasised their willingness to further enhance cooperation in the fight against tax fraud and tax evasion and acknowledged the importance of a global level playing field for effective implementation of the international standards on tax transparency, the statement said.
On his part, Modi said transparency in financial transactions is a major global challenge and that cooperation between India and Switzerland over it will continue further.
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”. According to a Swiss government document, the country has found India’s data security and confidentiality laws “adequate” for the automatic exchange of information framework.
Switzerland will implement the recommendations of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information in Tax Matters with the view to further improve mutual administrative assistance in tax matters.
Modi expressed hope that Switzerland will implement the recommendations of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information in Tax Matters with the view to further improve mutual administrative assistance in tax matters, the statement said.
“Both leaders agreed for enhanced engagement, closer convergence and stronger cooperation in tax and financial matters. Both sides also recognised the importance and potential benefits of cross-border investment and financial services and agreed to continue cooperation on these matters through regular dialogue,” it added.