India to get banking info from Switzerland on liberal terms

The mutual agreement will enable India to get information even if they have only limited details regarding the person having bank accounts in Switzerland

New Delhi: In a development that will boost the fight against black money menace, Switzerland has agreed to provide details of secret bank accounts of individuals sought by India even on the basis of limited information, reports PTI.

Under a mutual agreement reached on 20th April between the two countries, Switzerland has agreed to give liberal interpretation to the provisions concerning identities of Indian citizens.

"... it is sufficient if the requesting state identifies the person by other means than by indicating the name and address of the person concerned, and indicates to the extent known, the name and address of any person believed to be in possession of the requested information," a Finance Ministry release said on Monday.

Under the existing bilateral treaty, the requesting country has to compulsorily provide the name of the person under examination and the name of the foreign holder of the information. These are part of the identity requirements without which the information would not be shared by the other country.

"This was a restrictive provision and not in line with the international standards," the release said.

The agreement was signed under the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) between the two countries.

"This agreement is beneficial to India because it gives liberal interpretation to the identity requirements for exchange of information which India will be seeking from Switzerland and is in line with international standards," the release said.

The pact would allow liberal interpretation of Article 26, concerning exchange of information.

"The conditions as clarified by Switzerland, will enable India to get information even if we have only limited details regarding the person having bank accounts in Switzerland," the release said.

India had inked the pact with Switzerland to revise their bilateral taxation treaty in August 2010. The revised treaty was approved by Swiss Parliament on 17th June last year.

The new agreement was signed by Sanjay Kumar Mishra Joint Secretary (Foreign Tax & Tax Research division), Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) and Juerg Giraudi, Head of Division of International Tax Affairs, Swiss Federal Department of Finance.

The Cabinet had earlier approved the mutual pact on 23rd March. "... this mutual agreement will apply from the date on which the amending Protocol which was signed on 30 August 2010, has come into effect 1 April 2011," the release said.

As per data from the Swiss National Bank, the total deposits of Indian individuals and companies in Swiss banks stood at about $2.5 billion at the end of 2010.




5 years ago

That is ok as far as it goes on paper. The question is: will the authorities in bureaucracy/admn. (read:IAS) and the political power act on the info.? Already there is enough and nobody knows what has happened to the info. with the bent officers and leaders easily approachable.

Up home loan cap to Rs10 lakh for priority sector: RBI to RRBs

“It has been decided to increase the limit from Rs5 lakh to Rs10 lakh for the bank loans extended to non-governmental agencies, approved by NHB for their refinance, for home loans” the RBI said

Mumbai: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) asked all regional rural banks (RRBs) to double the limit for home loans to Rs10 lakh from Rs5 lakh for consideration under priority sector lending schemes, reports PTI.

“It has been decided to increase the limit from Rs5 lakh to Rs10 lakh for the bank loans extended to non-governmental agencies, approved by NHB for their refinance, for on-lending for the purpose of construction or reconstruction of individual dwelling units...and rehabilitation of slum dwellers,” the RBI said in a notification.

Loans of such nature fall under indirect finance to housing sector as the final disbursement is done through National Housing Bank(NHB) approved non-governmental agencies.

In August 2007, the central bank, kept the ceiling of loan component of Rs5 lakh per dwelling unit for the priority sector lending and since then, the RRBs have been considering the home loan limit up to Rs5 lakh under for the weaker sections of society under priority sector lending scheme.

In view of the shortage of housing for low income groups in major cities and towns, the finance minister in his budget for 2012-13 also proposed to enhance the limit of indirect finance under priority sector from Rs5 lakh to Rs10 lakh.


Indian Bank, IOB cut lending rates by 0.25%

The separate announcements by Indian Bank and Indian Overseas Bank came a week after RBI reduced policy rate by 0.5%

New Delhi: Indian Bank and Indian Overseas Bank (IOB) slashed lending rates by 0.25%, in line with other lenders, reports PTI.

The separate announcements come a week after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) reduced policy rate by 0.5%.

The bank decided to reduce its base rate by 0.25% from the existing 10.75% to 10.50% per annum, Indian Bank said in a filing on the BSE.

Similarly, IOB has also cut the base rate to 10.50% from 10.75%.

Base rate is the benchmark rate below which a bank cannot lend. With the reduction in the base rate all kinds of loans would be cheaper by at least 0.25%.

The new rates of both the banks would be from 1 May 2012.

Another public sector lender Punjab and Sind Bank trimmed fixed deposit rates across various maturities in line with the market trend.

The new rates have been effective from 28 April 2012.

The peak fixed deposit rate of the bank has come down to 9.25% from 9.75% earlier.

Following the RBI’s decision to cut key interest rate by 0.5% to 8% in its annual credit policy, several banks including ICICI Bank, IDBI Bank and Punjab National Bank have reduced both lending and deposit rates.

Earlier last week, State Bank of India (SBI) along with five more banks announced revision in their interest rates.

SBI trimmed interest rates on fixed deposits by up to 1% across various maturities. There was upward revision of 0.25% in case of fixed deposits of 180 days.


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