Money & Banking

Amnesty scheme to bring back black money unlikely

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on January 24, 2011

It is being contended that disclosure of names would go against India's international commitments under various tax treaties.





The Centre is unlikely to roll out any amnesty scheme to bring back the so-called black money stashed abroad by Indians in foreign banks.

This is even as there is widespread criticism by opposition parties that the UPA has failed to deliver on its 2009 poll promise to “take steps to bring back the black money stashed abroad within 100 days of coming back to power”.

Meanwhile, the Centre has turned down a demand for disclosure, in the public domain, of the names of 26 Indians who are said to have stashed their black money with the LGT Bank in Liechtenstein.

However, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has submitted their names to the Supreme Court in a sealed cover with an edict that these must not be put in public domain.

It is being contended in official circles that disclosure of names would go against India's international commitments under various tax treaties. However, critics say that the plea of international obligations is hogwash.

The main apprehension of the Government is that if the names are made public, then many countries will not come forward to share such information in future.

The Centre has also been renegotiating existing double taxation avoidance agreements (DTAA) with various countries.

India is also looking to enter into DTAAs and tax information exchange agreements with non-sovereign jurisdictions and offshore tax centres popularly described as tax havens.

India has renegotiated its existing DTAA with Switzerland so as to enable exchange of banking related information.

The changes to the DTAA are likely to take effect this year once the Swiss Parliament gives its approval.

After the amended treaty comes into force, India will be able to seek from Swiss authorities even banking related information.

However, the information would be shared only on prospective transactions (after the date of coming into force of revised treaty) and not on past transactions.

> krsrivats@thehindu.co.in

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Published on January 24, 2011
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