Pranab seeks France’s help in tracing black money

October 14th, 2011 - 9:16 pm ICT by IANS  

Pranab Mukherjee Paris, Oct 14 (IANS) Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee Friday urged France to press on tax havens to share past banking information that would help trace and curb black money.

“I request France to support India’s stand that the international standards for transparency and exchange of information are applied to past information, including banking information, and that it finds mention in the G20 communique,” Mukherjee said during a meeting with his French counterpart Fran├žois Baroin here.

He said tax evasion and illicit flows of money have posed serious challenges to the world economy and the efforts of the countries to raise revenue for development.

Mukherjee pointed out that over 700 agreements have been signed during the past two years globally to check tax evasion and black money.

“For these instruments to be really effective, it is essential that a consensus at global level is developed that the standards are applied to past information, including banking information also, so that tax evasion in past cases can be properly investigated,” he said.

Mukherjee is on a three-day official visit to France to attend G20 finance ministers and central bank governors’ meetings.

The minister said India was “seriously considering signing the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters” as this will help get greater access to tax related information.

Mukherjee is likely to urge other G20 members also to press for sharing of tax related and past banking information.

“Members of the G20 can take a lead in this regard by starting exchanging information automatically with their treaty partners on a voluntary basis and then urging other countries also to do so,” he said.

Some tax havens like Switzerland have agreed to share banking information with India effective from April 1, 2011. However, India has been pushing to get past banking information also to trace tax evaders and black money.

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