Who is ready to listen to india; India sometimes act like Big Brother of Asia, but in reality no one care about India. In world affairs, countries shall give credence only if there is implicit message of strength. Government of India, instead of patting its own back always, must see the realities. Which country is giving any importance to demands made by India? Take the case of Pak, BanglaDesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal or Burma.
Swiss banks may have turned over client details to the US, but they have said India is not welcome there on a name-fishing expedition.
“Swiss law and even OECD’s Model Tax Convention do not permit fishing expeditions, in other words, the indiscriminate trawling through bank accounts in the hope of finding something interesting.
“This means that India cannot simply throw its telephone book at Switzerland and ask if any of these people have a bank account here,” a top official at Swiss Bankers Association told media from Basel.
The secrecy shield provided by Swiss banks have always been a big issue in India, including during the campaign for this year’s General Elections, and the Government recently said that it has approached Switzerland seeking details about bank accounts held by Indians there.
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee recently informed Parliament that the Government was committed to unearthing black money within and outside the country.
“Swiss authorities, I am told, have agreed for negotiations (on the issue)… We have already taken it (the issue of black money) not only with Swiss authorities but other nations as well,” Mukherjee said.
Last week, the US reached an agreement with Switzerland, under which top Swiss bank UBS AG turned over details of 4,450 secret accounts to the Internal Revenue Service.
Union Finance Minster Pranab Mukherjee on Monday said the Indian Government will look into the matter of Swiss banks rejection to hand over details of the Indian clients. Speaking to newsmen before entering his North Block office Mukherjee said, “What can I comment? I will look into the matter and discuss the Swiss Banks rejection to disclose the details with authorities in banking sector.”
Earlier Swiss Bank authorities had rejected India’s request to disclose details of clients, saying Swiss law and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Model Tax Convention do not permit fishing expeditions.
The Swiss Bank authorities added that they would not co-operate for the indiscriminate trawling through bank accounts in the hope of finding something interesting.
“This means that India cannot simply throw its telephone book at Switzerland and ask if any of these people have a bank account here,” a top Swiss Bankers Association official said.
According to sources the Swiss bank-client confidentiality has never been 100 per cent absolute and Swiss legislators have built in provisions for it to be lifted during criminal investigations and also in many civil cases and it has also evolved over time.
“The key for the exchange of information in tax matters is the Double Taxation Agreement between Switzerland and India,” said SBA’s Head of International Communications James Nason.
Double Taxation Agreements are being currently revised to incorporate the OECD standard on the exchange of information in tax matters according to the OECD’s own Model Tax Convention.