Published: Sun, July 01, 2018
Money | By Michele Stevens

Swiss Bank deposits information will be available as of 2018: Piyush Goyal

Swiss Bank deposits information will be available as of 2018: Piyush Goyal

The agreement for automatic exchange of information was signed between Switzerland and India last November under which both countries would start collecting data in accordance with the global standards in 2018 and exchange it from 2019, Goyal told reporters here on the sidelines of an Institute of Cost Accountants of India event.

The Union minister also underlined that Swiss Banks are "no longer an ideal destination for tax evaders" because the Alpine nation has taken significant efforts to get out of the image of being a tax haven.

Since those record levels, this is only the third time when there has been a rise in Indians' money in Swiss banks - in 2011 (12 per cent), 2013 (43 per cent) and now in 2017 by 50.2 per cent - the maximum increase since 56 per cent way back in 2004.

On Thursday, Switzerland released data which showed money parked by Indians in Swiss banks rose over 50 per cent to 1.01 billion CHF (Rs 7,000 crore) in 2017, reversing a three-year downward trend amid India's clampdown on suspected black money stashed there.

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In a tweet, Gandhi referred to Interim Finance Minister Piyush Goyal's remarks earlier in the day about the latest data released by the Swiss National Bank that showed a rise in Indian deposits previous year.

The opposition now alleges the NDA Government is helping its "suited-booted" friends convert black money into white through money laundering.

"From depositing 15 lakh in each bank account to making Rupee stronger to doubling farmers' income, he has only insulted and humiliated us Indians", he said in a tweet.

The Tax department had detected suspected black money running into thousands of crores of rupees post investigations on global leaks about Indians stashing funds overseas and has launched prosecution against hundreds of them, including those with accounts in the Geneva branch of HSBC.

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"Then there are also non-resident deposits in this".

The Modi government's much-trumpeted crackdown on black money has just taken a big hit. "What happened to Prime Minister Modi's promise of eradicating corruption and bringing back black money?" asked party spokesperson R.P.N. Singh.

"Despite the decline, the money held by Pakistani nationals and entities remain above that of Indians, which rose by over 50 percent to CHF 1,015 million in 2017 after three consecutive years of decline", the report added. "No "BLACK" in Swiss Banks!(sic)" Gandhi said on Twitter, tagging a media report on the matter.

Meanwhile, the total funds held by all foreign clients of Swiss banks rose about 3pc to CHF 1.46 trillion in 2017.

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