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Thursday, February 16, 2012 (18:03:51)
Tags : Central Bureau of Investigation, CBI, Switzerland, Indian tax evaders, Swiss Banks

Switzerland says it is 'not tax haven'

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New Delhi, Feb 16: Switzerland today dismissed as "uncorroborated" the estimates about the amount of wealth hidden by Indians in foreign banks, days after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) chief said Indian tax evaders had stashed $500 billion in Swiss Banks.

"Switzerland is not a tax haven," a statement from the Swiss embassy said here, denying "unsubstantiated media reports about Switzerland and Swiss banks".

"There have been several speculations about the amount of wealth held by Indians in Swiss banks. Such estimates and statistics lack evidence and are uncorroborated."

The statement also dismissed allegations by Minister of State for Personnel V. Narayanasamy that foreign governments were not cooperating with India in getting vast amounts of black money hidden in overseas banks.

"The Swiss government has been forthcoming in its cooperation with all foreign governments in cases of tax evasion as well as cases of tax fraud, that have been presented within the framework of bilateral treaties," the statement said.

The remarks by the Swiss embassy come days after CBI chief A.P. Singh said Indians are the "largest depositors" in Swiss banks and have stashed a staggering $500 billion of black money abroad for tax evasion.

The embassy statement said a Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) between India and Switzerland provides a legal framework within which administrative assistance can be sought in particular cases of tax evasion or tax fraud.

The agreement allows the exchange of information between the two countries on tax fraud as well as on tax evasion cases.

"The Swiss government has conceded to administrative assistance also in cases of tax evasion. This is completely in line with the current international standard," the embassy said. (IANS)