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Govt to have relook at tax treaties to unearth black money

Arun Jaitley

New Delhi, Nov 22 (PTI) Faced with the daunting task of getting back black money stashed abroad, government today said it was having a relook at some of the bilateral tax treaties signed with foreign countries that may be hindering the repatriation of the money.

“Of course, we are,” Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said in an interaction with PTI journalists at the PTI headquarters here.

He was asked whether the government would have a relook at the bilateral treaties through which the government was not easily getting information about black money hoarders abroad.

Jaitley said he had sent a delegation recently to Switzerland and they have come back with some positive movement.

“We have to furnish evidence independent of the HSBC list. I can’t go to them (foreign countries) and they say the HSBC list is stolen, I won’t cooperate. So I won’t go to you on the basis of stolen list. But if I present to you some independent evidence about names which happen to come on the stolen list, then will you provide me the evidence?,” he said referring to the discussions with Swiss government.

Asked if this was not provided in the current bilateral treaties, the Minister said: “This is what we have discussed. Increasingly the cooperation is increasing. Now if you see the US laws, they want more and more countries to accept that law which provides for automatic exchange of information.”

To a question whether India would be signing such a treaty, the Minister said, “our application is precisely that. The Supreme Court, the earlier judgement, needs a clarification. So the Special Investigation Team (SIT) is looking into it.”

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