NEW DELHI/BERNE, July 20 � As India steps up pressure on Switzerland for details of alleged black money stashed there, Swiss authorities have invited Indian officials to Berne to discuss further cooperation in these matters, reports PTI.
Besides, Switzerland has already transmitted �few positive responses� to India, a spokesperson in the Swiss Finance Ministry said, without divulging any further details on this. Sources, however, said these �responses� may not be related to the Indian names figuring in the so-called �stolen lists� of those having alleged Swiss bank accounts.
Switzerland has been refusing to share details on names obtained by Indian authorities through other countries, namely France and Germany, saying they figured in lists stolen by certain ex-employees of the banks concerned and no details can be shared on the basis of illegally-obtained information.
�As written to the Indian government, the Swiss government would like to welcome a delegation of administration officials from India to discuss further cooperation in tax matters in Berne, after the talks in February 2014 in India,� a Federal Department of Finance spokesperson told PTI from Berne.
He was replying to queries on steps being taken by Switzerland to address India�s concerns over denial of information about alleged black money stashed in Swiss banks.
A high-level delegation from Switzerland had held discussions on tax matters with Indian government officials in New Delhi in February this year.
Asked about the �few positive responses� received by India from Switzerland and whether these were cases related to �spontaneous exchange of information�, the spokesperson said, �We can�t give you any details about the few positive responses that Switzerland has transmitted to India.�
Typically, there are two types of information exchange frameworks followed by Swiss authorities � �spontaneous� exchange where details are given voluntarily to a foreign country if any irregularity is found with regard to a foreign client; and exchange of information in reply to a request.
The spokesperson also refused toshare specific details about the number of requests recived fromIndia for exchange of information and the number of replies given by Switzerland.
Last month, Indian government made a fresh request to Switzerland seeking details of Indians having unaccounted money in Swiss banks, to which a reply came on July 4.
On Friday, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley informed the Parliament that Switzerland has raised some legal issues with regard to providing details of Indian citizens who have parked illegal funds in Swiss banks.
Asserting that the government was making all efforts to get details of such accounts, Jaitley also said it was collecting evidence in this regard.