Deposits of Indians in Swiss bank on decline

New Delhi, Aug 10: Deposits of Indians in Swiss banks have shown a steady decline over the years and had more than halved to Rs 9,295 crore last year from about Rs 23,373 crore in 2006, the government has said.

Indians accounted for 0.1302 per cent of the total amount belonging to foreigners in different Swiss banks in 2010, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday quoting Swiss National Bank data.

Part of the deposits in the Swiss Banks, the Minister said, “may be related to legitimate business”.

As per the Swiss data, of the total Rs 9,295 crore in deposits by Indians in 2010, Rs 1,372 crore was towards fiduciary business. The deposits of Indians in the Swiss banks was Rs 23,373 crore in 2006.

Amid pressure to bring back unaccounted money, India signed a protocol with Switzerland in August last year to revise the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA).

The revised treaty, which is in the process of being approved by the Swiss authorities, will help India seek banking sector information from Switzerland.

Once the revised treaty comes into effect, India can seek bank account details for cases dating from January 1, 2011.

Mukherjee further said India has adopted a five-pronged strategy to get the black money stashed away back to the country. The steps include, joining the global crusade against black money and creating appropriate legislative framework.

“Information regarding details of assets and payments received by Indian citizens in several countries have started flowing in, which is now under different stages of processing and investigation,” he said.

In a large number of specific cases, information has been obtained under DTAA.

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