In what might lead to a diplomatic tiff between India and Switzerland, Indian finance minister has sent an intense worded letter to his Swiss counterpart Eveline Widmer Schlumpf, threatening him of a strict action against their reluctance to share information on 500 Indians who bear allegations of stashing money in HSBC’s Geneva branch.
Chidambaram has said that India may consider taking action against the country under its domestic laws for failure to exchange information under the double tax avoidance convention (DTAC) between the two countries. Finance Minister P. Chidambaram has threatened to drag the European nation to multilateral forums like G20 for continuing to block its requests. He further added this is shameful on Switzerland’s part that it does not comply with the standards of transparency.
Chidambaram, in a curt two-page letter to his Swiss counterpart, reminded him of the April 2009 declaration adopted by G20 leaders stating the “era of bank secrecy is over.” He said India might take severe steps like declaring Switzerland a non-cooperative jurisdiction if non-cooperation continues. Switzerland has not honored the terms and conditions of Double Tax Avoidance Agreement between the two nations.
Chidambaram wrote in the letter, “Switzerland’s refusal to provide information to India and other countries on the grounds that the source of the information requested is based on ‘stolen data’ means that, in practice, Switzerland still believes in bank secrecy and is therefore not in tune with the modern era.”
Chidambaram said India is gravely concerned that some Indian taxpayers have hoarded substantial amounts of black money in Swiss Banks; India requires Switzerland’s cooperation to deal effectively with these issues.
This whole story seems to be an all-new drama by our corrupt politicians. The very first thing that triggers this thought is that if our government really wants to catch hold of the tax evaders, then why couldn’t they take drastic steps in past 10 years? The reason behind is that almost all our big politicians are neck deep in corruption, so how can we expect them to do something anti-corruption? This is nothing more than an attempt to fool the people of India. By now most of the Swiss Bank accouters must have shifted their black money to the safer zones.
Whom does Mr. Chidambaram think he is fooling? Indians are not that stupid. Everybody knows what intentions our politicians have. Our politicians keep creating a ruckus about this whole issue of black money in Swiss banks, but make sure that no strict action is taken, as most are themselves afraid of being caught!