India has strongly advocated the fast implementation of the automatic exchange of tax information globally, within the time-frame agreed by the G20 countries, in the backdrop of media reporting names of Indian account holders in HSBC bank’s Swiss branch.
“This would help India trace transactions of money illegally earned or stashed in foreign banks without paying appropriate taxes in the countries where those transactions took place,” Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha told a meeting of the G20 nations’ finance ministers and central bank governors in Istanbul held Feb 9-10, on official release said here.
At the G20 Brisbane summit last November, leaders endorsed a new global transparency standard by which more than 90 jurisdictions will begin automatic exchange of tax information, using a common reporting standard by 2017-2018.
Reacting to an Indian Express report Monday that 1,195 Indians were in the list of clients who held accounts in HSBC bank’s Geneva branch from 2006-2007, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said: “The details that have come out today (Monday) are the ones we already have.”
The central government has completed assessment of 350 foreign accounts while tax-evasion proceedings have been initiated against 60 account holders Jaitley told reporters here.
India has no official estimates of illegal money stashed away overseas, but the unofficial ones range from $466 billion to $1.4 trillion.
Sinha also expressed concern over the monetary policies of a number of developed countries including members of the G20, the finance ministry said.
He called for installing an effective mechanism to deal with negative spillovers that may arise due to such policies or even their unexpected and disorderly withdrawal in future, the statement added.
Presenting the Reserve Bank of India’s latest monetary policy review last week, deputy governor Urjit Patel described the “important backdrop” to the RBI’s move to keep key interest rates unchanged, that left analysts puzzled over whether it was “dovish” or “hawkish”.
“We are in the midst of the age of competitive depreciation and of a beggar-my-neighbour philosophy. It brings to mind an old African saying that when elephants fight the grass suffers,” Patel said at the press conference to announce the policy review, on the trend of accommodative monetary policies being adopted by developed economies.
“While the European Central Bank (ECB) and the Bank of Japan (BoJ) are printing money and devaluing their currencies on one hand, the US economy is reviving on the other. Anyone in the middle is getting crushed,” he added.