The Swiss Ministry of Finance has denied move to share details

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Monday that the Modi government was writing to the Swiss authorities to share details of Indians holding black money in banks there.

“Though we haven’t received any communication from the Swiss authorities, we are today [Monday] writing to them so that details with regard to whatever information the authorities have can be expedited and the cooperation between the Swiss authorities and the government of India can bring fruitful results,” Mr. Jaitley told reporters.

India had earlier accused Switzerland of “providing protection to taxpayers found to have evaded Indian taxes” and seriously undermining India’s efforts in tackling offshore tax evasion and stashing of unaccounted income abroad.” Zurich had declined to share account details of certain Indians with accounts at HSBC’s branches in Switzerland in cases where Indian investigators had found “incriminating evidence of tax evasion”.

On Sunday, it was reported that Switzerland had prepared a list of Indians suspected to have stashed untaxed wealth in Swiss banks and that the details were being shared with Indian government.

The Swiss Finance Ministry statement said that after the high-level Swiss delegation met its Indian counterparts in New Delhi in February 2014, no further official meeting had taken place.

The Swiss government has been refusing to share details about the Indians named in this ‘HSBC list,’ which was stolen by a bank employee and later found its way to tax authorities in various countries, including India.

Despite repeated requests from India, Switzerland has maintained that its local laws prohibit administrative assistance in matters where information has been sourced illegally, including through stolen lists.

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