Swiss Govt to ratify revised double taxation pact by Dec

K. R. Srivats New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018

The Swiss Economic Affairs Minister, Mr Johann N. Schneider Ammann, calling on the Finance Minister, Mr Pranab Mukherjee, at his office in the Capital on Thursday. – Kamal Narang


Swiss Economic Minister seeks further opening of banking, insurance sectors

Switzerland on Thursday said that the whole process of its internal ratification of the revised double taxation avoidance pact with India would be completed by December this year.

The amending protocol, which was signed in August 2010, would enter into force on the date both countries have mutually notified each other about the completion of their internal ratification procedures. While the internal ratification process from the Indian side has already been concluded, the process was yet to be completed from Swiss side.

“We are now in the Parliamentary process. In the Swiss system, it is a two chamber system. It would take another couple of months and after that we would have 100 days referendum period. You can assume that we will conclude the whole process including referendum by the end of the year,” Mr Johann N. Schneider-Ammann, the visiting Swiss Economic Affairs Minister told Business Line here in an interview.

The revised double taxation avoidance pact would enable exchange of information on tax issues in accordance with the OECD standards. The exchange of information will be applicable to fiscal years beginning January 1, 2011 for Switzerland and April 1, 2011 for India.

Meets Pranab

Mr Ammann, who is on his first official visit to India, is leading a 25-member high profile business delegation from Switzerland. The visiting Economic Affairs Minister on Thursday met the Union Finance Minister, Mr Pranab Mukherjee, at the latter's North Block office in the Capital.

Five CEO level representatives of the Swiss Finance and Insurance industry also called on Mr Mukherjee along with Mr Ammann. The Swiss side pitched for further opening up of the banking and insurance sectors in India.

Mr Ammann said that his meeting with Mr Mukherjee was “very interesting” and “very demanding” as well.

“We asked in an indirect way to open the Indian market for the finance industry (Swiss),” he said, adding that the indirect route related to the ongoing negotiations for trade and investment agreement between India and four-nation EFTA.

In the context of the ongoing India-EFTA discussions, the Swiss side, which is an EFTA member, expects India to negotiate even on services including financial services industry interest, Mr Ammann said. The visiting Minister expects the ongoing India-EFTA negotiations to conclude by the end of this year.

“Switzerland is an export oriented and an open economy. Wherever we face willingness to open even if it is a small step, it is correct for us. All the discussions that I have had in India so far is in the right direction to my understanding. We expect India to open up its market step by step,” Mr Ammann said.

Meanwhile, Mr Mukherjee had on Thursday urged the Swiss Government to expedite the ratification of the revised DTAA. The Indian Finance Minister said that this would strengthen the economic relationship between the two nations.

Both Mr Ammann and Mr Mukherjee also discussed G20 matter including issues relating to the forthcoming G20 Finance Ministers' meet in Washington later this month.

Published on April 07, 2011

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