Switzerland Won’t Share Information on Accounts Before May 2011

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money_generic650NewZNew (New Delhi) : Responding to a query from the Prime Minister’s Office, the Law Ministry has said it cannot get information from Switzerland on black or untaxed money stashed by Indians in accounts before May, 2011. The law ministry has advised that a UN Convention against Corruption cannot be invoked to extract information on those who have black money in Swiss bank accounts, as India and Switzerland have a bilateral protocol.

The Prime Minister’s office had last month raised questions about efforts to retrieve black money and whether the UN convention can help extract information. NDTV had been the first to report on the questions sent to the law ministry. Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised to bring back black money to India as his BJP made it a big campaign issue for the May national election. The Supreme Court has set up a Special Investigation Team to map the recovery of crores in black money.

India’s new treaty with Switzerland on sharing of information on bank accounts came into effect in November 2011.  Switzerland is clear that information will not be shared retrospectively – that is, it will only share information that came after the agreement was signed. The agreement with Switzerland, the note also says, bars India from information about money that has been acquired through illegal means. It only helps avoid taxing a person in both countries.  The Supreme Court has constituted a special investigative team to ensure black money stashed away abroad is brought back to the country

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