Seeking to allay apprehensions about Mauritius being used for money laundering activities, its Indian-origin Prime Minister Navin Ramgoolam on Tuesday said the island nation has decided to provide automatic exchange of tax related information with India.
Ramgoolam, who was here to attend BJP leader Narendra Modi’s swearing—in as Prime Minister on Monday, also said that Mauritius would not allow anybody to abuse or misuse its jurisdiction for any illicit activities.
Speaking to reporters after a bilateral meeting with Modi on Tuesday morning, Ramgoolam said he has also invited the Indian Prime Minister to visit Mauritius.
On the contentious issue of revision of a tax treaty between the two countries, the Mauritius Prime Minister said that “there must be a quick resolution to resolve all issues related to the direct tax avoidance agreement between the two countries“.
“We both agreed that there must be quick resolution (on the issues) for certainty, clarity and predictability,” he said.
A proposed revision of the tax treaty has been hanging in the balance for a long time and there have been reports that Mauritius was not agreeable to certain suggestions made by India, which has been seeking to make the agreement stronger to check any possible round tripping of Indian funds through the Indian Ocean island nation.
The people of Indian descent account for a vast majority (about 70 per cent) of Mauritius population. The current Prime Minister’s father, late Seewoosagur Ramgoolam (also referred as Chacha Ramgoolam) was a leader in Mauritian independence movement and also served as the first Chief Minister and Prime Minister of Mauritius.
Seewoosagur Ramgoolam is also known as ‘Father of Nation’ of Mauritius and for leading the Labour Party for the rights of labourers and getting Mauritius independence from the United Kingdom in 1968.