In the midst of a row over tainted money stashed away in banks in Switzerland, the government today said it would begin talks with that country in December for amending the relevant treaty and it was not interested in a roving inquiry.
We are pursuing with the Swiss authorities and after our persuasion they have agreed to discuss and begin the negotiations on the amendment of the avoidance of the double taxation agreement in respect of the exchange of information. That first round of talks will take place sometime in December, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said at a panel discussion organised by a news channel.
The Swiss Banks Association had said the Swiss law and even the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Developments 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, SBA Head of International Communications James Nason said.
We are fully aware of and we have no intention of having any roving enquiry, Mukherjee said.