Swiss-Indian tax negotiations yield modest progress
The visit of an Indian delegation to Switzerland to discuss tax issues has garnered a lot of media attention in both countries. While offering some concessions, Switzerland refused to budge on the issue of providing assistance on the basis of stolen bank data.
On Wednesday, the Swiss State Secretary for International Financial Matters, Jacques de Watteville, met with his Indian counterpart, Revenue Secretary Shaktikanta Das, to discuss various bilateral and multilateral tax and financial issues.
The meeting was a follow-up to a Swiss delegation’s visit to New Delhi in February 2014. It was also the first high-level meeting between the two countries’ tax and financial authorities since the new Indian government took up office in May this year.
The Le Temps newspaper seized on the visit to remark that it is not just the Americans and Europeans that are interested in catching their tax evaders. It also commented on the coincidental visit of an Israeli tax delegation next week to illustrate how Switzerland is being attacked from all sides over tax evasion.
The Swiss public broadcaster SRF, commented that Indian prime minister Modi’s crusade against alleged Swiss-assisted tax evasion by Indians is just a successful ploy to distract attention away from the source of generous donations towards his election campaign.
The Indian media focused on the so-called HSBC stolen bank data that India is in possession of and which is regarded as inadmissible by Swiss authorities.