Switzerland keen to resolve tax issues with India, says envoy

15 October 2014

Amid a meeting of Indian and Swiss tax tax officials in Berne today, Switzerland's ambassador to New Delhi Linus von Castelmur said his country is fully co-operating with the Indian authorities on tax matters.

An Indian delegation led by revenue secretary Shaktikanta Das is in Berne to meet Swiss officials as both sides look to resolve tax matters, including the vexed issue of illicit wealth stashed by Indian citizens in Swiss banks.

Castelmur said the issues of the past should be addressed in a pragmatic way while respecting international obligations.

About the meeting in Berne, Castelmur said it is about co-operation in the economic field between the two nations.

"We are very happy that Das is in Berne today and we wish him very good and for dialogue between the two delegations. We wish them well that issues will be solved ... I think problems in the future would be solved very easily," the Swiss ambassador said.

The visit comes amid the Swiss government refusing to share information on list of names obtained by Indian authorities through other nations, mainly France and Germany, saying they figured in lists stolen by certain ex-employees of the banks concerned and that no details can be shared on the basis of illegally-obtained information.

"We still have problems of the past and cannot make undone 20, 30, 40 years of the past. I think we have to work on that in a pragmatic way in respecting our international obligations but also our eternal rule of law," Castelmur said.

He noted that there is a problem about requests on stolen data. "Switzerland is working on a case-to case-basis with Indian authorities. When there is a case when a request is placed, we will certainly examine that matter," he said.

The ambassador was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a seminar organised by industry body Assocham.

 search domain-b