BANGALORE: Once the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) is ratified at the Parliaments of India and Switzerland, India will be given access to the information it wants on bank deposits and accounts of Indians.
Switzerland’s Ambassador to India H E Philippe Welti disclosed this here on Friday.
At a session on ‘Switzerland- India: A strong partnership, investment & business opportunities’, he said the Indian Parliament was ready to ratify the DTAA and Switzerland would do it soon.
Switzerland, Welti said, still had distinction between tax fraud and tax evasion.
“While tax fraud is a crime, tax evasion is not, though it is prohibited in our country.
We have strict rules for banks and have signed about 70-75 bilateral treaties and agreements with several SAARC countries,” he explained.
Further, he said around 120 Swiss manufacturers had their presence in India, out of which 20-30 were in Bangalore. “We are especially focused on manufacturing, science and technology, and hi-tech sectors, such as information technology and nanotechnology,” said Welti.
Informing that there was a 30 per cent growth in the number of visa applications from India over the past year, he said the new South Consul General office in Bangalore would be functional in near future and would cater to the visa applicants from south India.
At the meet, Executive Director of Swissnex India, Sylvia Hostettler, said they were involved in 22 research projects in the country. “Our key areas of focus are nanotech, IT, health sciences, urban development and renewable energy, among others,” she explained.