M A I N   N E W S

Secret bank accounts
Germany agrees to share info

Paris, February 21
Germany has assured Indian Finance Minister Pranab Mukhejee that it would pass on information about Indian citizens holding secret bank accounts.

The assurance came at a bilateral meeting between Mukherjee and German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble on the sidelines of the meeting of the G-20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors that concluded here on Saturday.

Mukherjee appreciated the role of Germany in providing information about Indian citizens having secret bank accounts in the LGT bank of Liechtenstein. Germany has earlier provided names of some Indians having secret accounts in the Liechtenstein Bank.

“German Finance Minister ... assured him (Mukherjee) that as and when they have such information, they will pass it on to the Indian Government”, said a release.

Germany has also agreed to revise Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) and incorporate clauses to facilitate exchange of information between the law enforcement agencies of the two countries.

The negotiations to amend the DTAA will start soon, the release said, adding Mukherjee has requested for early amendments to the tax treaty. Under the existing treaty, Germany cannot share information for non-tax purposes.

German tax authorities, Mukherjee added, need to share information with India’s Enforcement Directorate, a body that deals with offences relating to violation of foreign exchange laws.

Raising similar issues with French Minister for Economy, Industry and Employment Christine Lagarde, Mukherjee said there was need to put pressure on tax havens to share information to prevent money laundering.

Mukherjee also recalled the commitment of the French Minister to share information on Indian monies in Swiss banks, the release said.

Pranab asked his French counterpart to initiate early negotiations for amending the DTAA between the two countries.Lagarde said the French team was working on the amendment proposed by India on the DTAA and the issue of providing information for tax purposes would be discussed shortly with Indian administration. — PTI





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