Prime Minister Modi had made a promise to the nation that he’d take strict steps to counter black money and even bring back money stashed away in Swiss banks by Indians for decades. And he has done just that.
The great news for all honest Indians who’ve directly or indirectly borne the brunt of the influence wielded by the corrupt is that the Swiss bank data of these corrupt people will be automatically shared with the Indian government from the year 2019 onwards!
Switzerland ratified automatic exchange of financial account information with India. Switzerland has long been a safe haven for tax-evaders, but not anymore. The implication of this is that India will have automatic access to transactions made by Indians in Swiss banks after September 2019, and to information of accounts held by Indians residing in Switzerland for 2018 and years thereafter.
The Swiss Federal Council, which is the top governing body of the European nation, said the proposal to introduce AEOI with India and others was ‘met with widespread approval from the interested parties who voiced their opinions in the consultations’.
“In concrete terms, the AEOI will be activated with each individual state or territory by means of a specific federal decree within the framework of this dispatch,” it said.The most important aspect is that this decision of the Swiss Federal Council is not subject to any referendum – which means there will be no procedural delay in its implementation.
This means that laundering money through Swiss banking channels will be very difficult now. But, India will need to ensure strict confidentiality and data security in order to access information. Confidentiality and data protection requirements are to be strictly followed under the automatic information exchange framework. This process ensures the signatory always maintains control over its exchange partners and the treatment of the data exchanged, as per OECD.
Switzerland is also satisfied with various regulations in India, including changes in the Information Technology Act, with respect to ensuring protection of privacy.
The efforts to gain access to Swiss banks accounts of corrupt Indians was started only when Prime Minister Modi came to power. In October 2014, India’s efforts succeeded when India and Switzerland signed a protocol with Switzerland agreeing to provide any requested banking information in a time bound manner to help in the crackdown on black money.
Even the most blind haters of Prime Minister Modi must now understand that he is as clean a leader as India’s ever got. Not only does he himself not take any money, but he doesn’t even let others around him take money.
Now that India has achieved this huge success, one question arises – Why is that only since Narendra Modi came to power have significant steps being taken to eradicate black money? Why didn’t the Congress party do any such thing when it was in power for decades? The question might seem complicated, but the answer isn’t – Congress itself is deeply corrupt and has looted the nation and stashed money abroad. Taking such actions would have meant smashing a hammer on its own foot.