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Black money trail: Swiss banks refuse details to India

CNN-IBN
Aug 24, 2009 at 08:02pm IST

New Delhi: In the black money issue, Swiss banks on Sunday made it clear to India that they won’t provide details of their account holders unless they are proved tax offenders.

The matter has been made a political issue in the country now.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) raised the issue during the elections and LK Advani promised to bring back all the money from the Swiss banks

Even Congress joined the chorus but now it seems the authorities in Switzerland aren’t too eager to share the details of the suspected accounts with India.

During the election campaign Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had also indicated that it won’t be an easy task to get details from the Swiss banks.

“Some information has come in but we are sworn to secrecy,” said the PM.

The key to secret accounts reportedly lies in the double taxation agreement between India and Switzerland.

The US also got the names of over 4000 offenders under similar condition through this agreement.

However, the Swiss Justice Ministry says it can't have a deal with India on revealing accounts of Indians in banks.

"Switzerland can't sign a similar deal with India because we've signed a treaty with US," says chief press spokesperson, Ministry of Justice, Folco Galli.

The Bharatiya Janata Party, which had first raised the Swiss Bank issue during the Lok Sabha elections, is now asking the government put diplomatic pressure on Swiss authorities to share details with India.

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