Swiss govt ratifies pact with India on exchange of financial information

The Narendra Modi government's ant-black money initiatives got a further fillip with the Swiss government ratifying an agreement for automatic exchange of financial account information with India.

The development follows months of lobbying the Swiss government for co-operation in its efforts to unearth huge stocks of unaccounted wealth. The development also comes after New Delhi expanded its fight against unaccounted wealth to benami companies, benami accounts and benami transactions.

Switzerland has also promised to step up cooperation with New Delhi for unearthing black money, accorsing to a report in The Economic Times.

India and Switzerland had recently stepped up parleys on the introduction of the AEOI (Automatic Exchange of Information) on tax matters under the guidance of G20, OECD and other global organisations, the report said.

Despite all efforts black money remained elusive for the Modi govt as it could detect undisclosed income worth Rs16,000 crore.

The ratification of the agreement would help India access transactions by Indians with Swiss banks after September 2019.

The exchange of information, however, will be carried out on the basis of Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement (MCAA) on the Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information, which in turn, is based on the international standard for exchange of information developed by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Switzeland's Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) first agreed to relax its banking secrecy rules to cooperate with enquries from other countries on 18 February 2009, when FINMA ordered Swiss bank UBS to hand over the files of nearly 300 clients to US authorities.