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India, others sign pact for automatic sharing of tax info: FM P Chidambaram
May, 13th 2014

India and several other countries, including Switzerland, have adopted a global declaration for automatic exchange of tax information, finance minister P Chidambaram said on Monday.

The agreement gives a big boost to India's efforts at the G20 for creating a robust global mechanism for automatic flow of information to effectively tackle tax evasion.

The adoption of the Declaration on Automatic Exchange of Information in Tax Matters last week comes in the backdrop of India stepping up pressure on Switzerland to share information on alleged illicit funds stashed away by its citizens in Swiss banks.

"The declaration recognises that investments kept offshore by taxpayers should not go untaxed. It stresses that a key aspect of cooperation between tax administrations is effective exchange of information on automatic basis subject to appropriate safeguards," Chidambaram said in a statement.

The finance minister said India will continue to put pressure on Switzerland to share information on tax evaders in line with this declaration.

"We intend to continue to pressure Switzerland to ratify the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters as well as abide by its obligations under the declaration that it signed on May 6, 2014," Chidambaram said.

Switzerland has been resisting New Delhi's move to share information on tax evaders citing its local laws. On May 6, 46 countries, including India, besides the European Union, meeting under the auspices of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, adopted the declaration.

The Paris-based OECD sets the global tax standards and frames conventions against tax frauds, among others. According to him, the declaration has referred to the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters that has been signed by over 60 nations, including almost all OECD and G20 nations.

Noting that efforts made by India and other OECD/G20 countries are bearing fruit, Chidambaram said, "I believe that the day is not far off when all major financial centres will be parties to an effective exchange of information on automatic basis."

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