India, Swiss to cooperate in fighting against black money

New Delhi [India]: India and Switzerland have decided to cooperate in the fight against black money, which is being used for arms and drugs.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday held delegation level talks with the President of the Swiss Confederation, Doris Leuthard, wherein they discussed the Trade and Economic Partnership Agreement between India and the European Free Trade Association.

“The talks have already begun on the provisions of this agreement. This is a welcome move. Both sides have expressed their commitment to fulfill this agreement,” Prime Minister Modi said.

He also mentioned that India and Switzerland have signed a joint declaration for the automatic exchange of tax related information, last year.

The Prime Minister also said that under this agreement, when the internal process is completed in Switzerland, the information will be shared with India on an automatic basis. This information also pertains to the black money stashed away by Indians in the Swiss banks.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Switzerland in June 2016, wherein tax evasion and black money menace were discussed.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister thanked Switzerland for its continuous support for India’s entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), and for its support for the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) membership.

Swiss Confederation President Doris Leuthard said that India and Switzerland can be relevant and reliable partners in programmes like Skill India, Digital India, Clean India, Startup India and Smart Cities.

Addressing a joint statement with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Leuthard said that both the countries would launch Swiss-Indian friendship activities.

“We will launch Swiss-Indian friendship activities; we came here with 30 representatives of the business society. We can be relevant and reliable partner in programmes like Skill India, Digital India, Clean India, Startup India and Smart cities,” she said.

President Leuthard said that Switzerland has one of the strongest laws on money laundering and they would be happy if other countries follow Switzerland.

Earlier in the day, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj called on the Swiss President and discussed various bilateral issues.

“First engagement for an honoured guest. EAM @SushmaSwaraj called on President Leuthard and discussed wide-ranging issues of mutual interest,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted.

Leuthard, who is on a three-day visit, was also given a ceremonial welcome at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

The Swiss president is accompanied by senior government officials and a large business delegation of leading Swiss companies. (ANI)