India steps up pressure on Switzerland to share bank info
India has strongly objected to Switzerland's denial of information about account details of certain Indians at HSBC's Swiss bank branches, in whose cases "incriminating evidence of tax evasion" have been found here.
In a strongly-worded letter to his Swiss counterpart, Finance Minister P Chidambaram has also warned that an effective exchange of tax-related information was extremely important for economic co-operation between the two countries and Switzerland must honour its rights and duties agreed to in their bilateral Direct Tax Avoidance Convention (DTAC).
This is Chidambaram's third letter to Swiss Finance Minister Eveline Widmer Schlumpf within four months on this matter and he again reiterated that India would continue to take a position at the Global Forum about Switzerland lacking legal and regulatory framework for an effective exchange of information.
Chidambaram also said that the interpretation made by Switzerland that it cannot share information as per India's request was not in accordance with international standards.
Switzerland communicated its decision against sharing the information through a letter dated 7th April to Chidambaram, pursuant to which India has now stepped up its pressure on the European nation, which has been long perceived as a major safe haven for alleged black money stashed by Indians and other foreign nationals due to its strong banking secrecy laws.
Under global pressure, Switzerland has agreed to ease its banking secrecy laws in recent years and it also signed a revised tax treaty with India in 2011 to facilitate greater flow of information about alleged black money.
However, it has refused to share information with India about the accounts mentioned in the so-called 'HSBC list' which India had received from France through a bilateral treaty.
However, it has been widely reported that France had received that list after data was stolen by a disgruntled HSBC employee in 2011 and those names eventually found their way to tax authorities across the world including India.
The Finance Minister further said Switzerland was putting unusual pre-conditions for sharing information which appear to be "intended to refuse assistance" and such refusal amounts to Swiss authorities providing protection to the people "found to have evaded Indian taxes".
Switzerland has rejected India's request on the pretext that the information was being sought on the basis of stolen data and it claims that its local laws do not permit exchange of information in such cases where some criminality may be involved for getting the data.
Countering Switzerland's claims, Chidambaram said that India's request "is based on data obtained legally under a DTAC with a third country and India is not party to commission of any criminal offence in Switzerland in this regard".
Earlier this year, a Swiss delegation had come to India to discuss such cases, but not much headway could be made.
Referring to that visit, Chidambaram said he had hoped "Swiss delegation would be willing to consider options that would enable exchange of information even in the HSBC cases.
"For instance, it was demonstrated to the Swiss delegation that in several of these cases, the Indian tax authorities had gathered incriminating evidence of tax evasion through their own investigation and actions. Accordingly, it was suggested by the Indian side that the information requests should be considered independently of the stolen data issue.
"However, Swiss delegates insisted on a pre-condition that India needs to demonstrate that the investigation carried out in these cases was initiated independently of the HSBC data and was based on information already available with the Indian authorities prior to receiving the HSBC data from France."
Chidambaram said he was aware of Switzerland government's failure to modify its laws due to political opposition there.
Switzerland's envoy to India Linus von Castelmur had also said in New Delhi on Thursday that there was a kind of national resistance in his country against giving information in cases of black money which have been sourced from 'stolen data'.
Chidambaram said "the refusal to provide assistance in cases where evidence has been collected by the Indian tax authorities, for the reason that the names of the persons concerned existed in the HSBC bank data, amounts to Switzerland providing protection to taxpayers found to have evaded Indian taxes".
Besides, such refusal "seriously undermines India's efforts in tackling offshore tax evasion and stashing of unaccounted income abroad," he said.
In his letter, Chidambaram, however, lauded approval by Swiss Parliament to a legislative amendment that provides for exceptions to the requirement of prior notification of the account holder in cases of information-exchange.
This amended legislation would come into force in July after which information can be exchanged with India or other countries in certain cases without informing the concerned bank customers.
"Regarding waiver of the conditions stated by India of not notifying the account holders in certain non-HSBC cases, the Indian competent authorities will shortly inform your official side of the cases where such waiver can be made," Chidambaram wrote.
He also requested that such notification requirements should not unduly delay the exchange of information.
Chidambaram said he was conscious of the long-standing ties of friendship and co-operation between the two countries and about their partnership in pursuit of economic development and growth for mutual benefits.
"We must not, therefore, let purely domestic concerns create any impediment to such co-operation," he said, while adding that he was looking forward to discussing all outstanding issues, including the reasonable solutions to the present matter, in the best interest of two countries.
Friday, May 2, 2014
|If you are unable to view this mail click here|||||If you are unable to view this mail in mobile click here|||||Forward to your friends|
This message is brought to you by Elets Technomedia Pvt Ltd.
If you do not wish to receive these emails in future please Click Here
If you do not wish to receive these emails in future please Click Here
Beware..The walls have e-ears and e-eyes!!
Leveraging on its strong brand, infrastructure and distribution platform, Zicom India has grown rapidly in a short span of time and has emerged as the leading Indian brand in security products and services. Through its wholly owned subsidiary, Zicom SaaS Private Ltd, as the pioneering provider of the new age mantra for security in India, introduced the unique concept of Electronic Security as a Service (E-SaaS) to enterprises and housing societies to provide cloud based remote monitoring systems and business intelligent support. It offers remotely managed security services on a Recurring Monthly Revenue (RMR) model. E-SaaS remotely monitors retail shops, retail chains, bank branches, ATMs, residences/societies etc. using electronic security equipments and offers security services through state-of-the-art Zicom Command Centre (ZCC).
An elderly gentleman, who walked into an ATM with family members in tow, was startled when the machine started talking to him, telling him that only one person can be in the cabin at any point in time.
That the family watched its head complete the transaction is another story. But the point is the ATM was being monitored by Zicom Electronic Security Systems from a remote location through cameras and two-way voice systems. This is the latest trend in outsourcing of security services.
Under this model, the outsourcer invests in equipment, technology and manpower. “This model entails a lot of savings for the client. Normally, it is the bank that makes the investment,” Zicom Founder and Managing Director Pramoud Rao told Business Line.
Zicom’s 12,000 clients across 1,000 cities include Federal Bank, Kotak Bank, HDFC, Punjab National Bank, HSBC, McDonalds, Dominos Pizza, Pizza Hut and Muthoot Finance. Its charges range from ₹500 to ₹50,000. The number of sites is expected to rise to 24,000-30,000 next year.
In a pattern shift from its earlier model of providing devices, the BSE-listed company is now banking on technology to aid security. Technology also enables Zicom go beyond pure-play outsourcing as it offers services such as business intelligence (BI), anti-theft and emergency response.
An alarm goes off at its control centre at Andheri in suburban Mumbai when an attempt is made to steal the cheque box, tamper with an ATM, to steal the air-conditioner or even the wastepaper bin.
“There have been many instances of garbage bin theft. We also have quick response teams on standby mode,” says Rao.
At night the cameras are on the motion detection mode. Rao cites an instance of the command centre detecting smoke and putting it out before it became a blaze.
The company has 2,500 buildings under surveillance and gets an average of ₹3,500 per building. Zicom intends expanding this service to Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad and the National Capital Region by the second quarter of this fiscal. It earned about ₹18 crore from these services this year, and expects about ₹50-60 crore in FY15.
With every company, housing society and even streets being potential customers, the opportunity for the company is immense.
Advanced Security Training and Management, another arm of Zicom Group is a Public Private Partnership between National Skill Development Corporation and Zicom India that aims to promote skill development. The institute offers certified, high quality training programs to security professionals and students incorporating state-of-the-art technology and best practices in security management.
Having a strong connect with leading domestic and international Original Equipment Manufacturers, Zicom India’s operations spread across five countries – India, UAE, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Brazil. In India, Zicom’s operations are spread across 1100 cities with network over 2,000 channel partners.
Zicom’s another innovative service e-count is one of the innovative People Counting Solutions. It counts only people and their footfalls for your business premises. It ignores shopping carts and other irrelevant details and comes up with an accurate report. And how! It is done through Zicom’s remote configuration and management of each unit from anywhere in the world facilitated by Zicom’s Command Centre
In today';s increasingly hectic work environment, it’s difficult to monitor your . Zicom solves this problem by staying connected to a 24 x 7 Zicom Command Centre. Firstly, this eases your burden of checking whether your system is functioning or not on a daily basis. Secondly, it saves you the trouble of being the first responder in case a fire breaks out in your premise. Thirdly, real-time information of a disaster averts the magnitude of the damage. Zicom does all three for you.
Gujarat - 69% Engg Seats Vacant, Education Rate 2% Gujarat 8% Students in India – 0.6% Clear AIIMS Test October18 , 2017 (C) Ravinde...
GOVT RAID ON FISCAL CORRUPTION & TERROR FUND Posted on June 3, 2017 Home Minister Rajnath Singh today assured that government wi...
“NAKSHE” PORTAL LAUNCHED BY DR. HARSH VARDHAN ON 250TH ANNIVERSARY OF SURVEY OF INDIA Posted on April 10, 2017 “nakshe” Portal lau...
GOVERNMENT TO REVIVE NORTH KOEL IRRIGATION PROJECT Posted on April 8, 2017 Centre has decided to revive the North Koel Irrigation pr...