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India Calls For Increased Transparency

by Mary Swire,, Hong Kong

23 February 2011

The Indian Finance Minister has underlined the increased need for transparency in financial transactions and the prevention of money laundering. Pranab Mukherjee used the G-20 meeting last week to demonstrate his country’s commitment to transparency, and pointed out that different definitions of phrases such as ‘tax evasion’ and ‘tax fraud’ in Indian law often led to problems and could be changed.

He took the opportunity to raise the issue with other Ministers including the French Minister for Economy, Industry and Employment Christine Lagarde and his German counterpart Wolfgang Schauble.

Mrs Lagarde expressed her commitment to share information with India, with Mr Mukherjee suggesting that negotiations on the amendments proposed by India to the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) should start early.

In his talks with Mr Schauble on the sidelines of the G-20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors’ Meeting in Paris the Indian Finance Minister indicated the need for the German tax authorities to share information with the Indian Enforcement Directorate. Under the existing treaty Germany is not obliged to share information for non-tax use.

The German Finance Minister was agreeable to this and also committed to starting early negotiations for an amendment to the DTAA.

India is currently in the process of revising its tax agreements to include information exchange clauses.

TAGS: tax | double tax agreement (DTA) | India | law | France | Germany

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