Brussels: Amid government looking at various options to curb the black money menace, HSBC India Head Naina Lal Kidwai has said India can look at Germany-Switzerland type taxation treaty whereby taxes on secret Swiss bank accounts are shared without disclosing the identity of the offender.
“… India (can) look at what is happening with Switzerland, where there is a tax treaty. Switzerland has give $5 billion to Germany, for example, that is tax without giving the names because we will never be able to give names of perpetrators,” Kidwai told PTI in an interview here.
The revised Indo-Swiss Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement allows India to get banking and other information in specific cases that relate to the period starting from 1 April, 2011, with limited retrospective application.
In the case of treaties like that between Germany and Switzerland, Kidwai said that money comes back to the particular country with interest.
“I believe there are many countries looking at doing similar agreements, they (India) should look at that. Anything that brings back money is better than the (unaccounted money) lying there even if it means not catching people (the tax offenders),” she noted.
According to Kidwai, if India could do both, “nothing like it”. HSBC India, part of British banking major HSBC, is a leading player in the country.
Like with Germany, Switzerland has also entered into similar treaties with the UK and Austria. Unveiling the White Paper on black money in May, the government had said it was looking into various aspects of having a UK-Switzerland type taxation treaty.
“India will have to take a decision first as to whether such type of agreement will meet its national objective where it can get an opportunity to share taxes with the Swiss government on assets held by Indian residents in Switzerland without learning the identity of the defaulting Indian residents,” the White Paper had said.
As per latest official data, the quantum of money held by Indians in Swiss banks stood about Rs 12,740 crore at the end of 2011.