India and Switzerland will soon start negotiations to enlarge the scope of their bilateral double taxation treaty to allow sharing of details of bank accounts of people accused of tax evasion, visiting Swiss Vice-President and Minister of Economic Affairs Doris Leuthard said on Thursday.
“We are open to renegotiation of the treaty to include tax evasion, which is a crime here. The first round of talks will take place soon,” Leuthard told reporters here. The Swiss minister said that the offer had been made by her country to other nations with which it has similar treaties. ”It means that if India has a case of tax evasion against a citizen who has an account in our banks, then India can apply through set procedures to know the details,” she said.
As per the Swiss ambassador to India Philippe Welti, the bilateral discussions will take place before the end of this year. Leuthard is here to take part in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) ministerial discussions.
Swiss banking secrecy had been in the news recently after India was refused permission to look through accounts of UBS AG. The US had, however, been allowed access to details of over 4,000 bank account holders. It is expected that Switzerland would allow the sharing of bank account details of Indian citizens once the revised double taxation treaty is drawn up and signed.