Switzerland sought adherence to confidentiality rules in data exchange with India. (Representational)
Switzerland today ratified automatic exchange of financial account information with India and 40 other jurisdictions to check black money deposits. The Swiss Federal Council in a statement said the protocol will be implemented in 2018, and the first set of data will be exchanged in 2019.
Switzerland, however, sought strict adherence to confidentiality and data security rules. The Swiss Federal Council, the European nation's top governing body, said it will soon inform India about the exact date from which the automatic exchange would begin.
According to the draft notification approved by the council today, the decision is not subject to any referendum -- meaning there will be no procedural delay in implementation.
Today's decision follows hectic talks between India and Switzerland for introduction of the AEOI or Automatic Exchange of Information on tax matters under the guidance of the G20, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development and other similar organisations.
The council said the proposal to introduce AEOI with India and others "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," the council said.
The council said it will prepare a situation report before the first exchange of data, planned in the autumn of 2019.
"In the process, it will be checked whether the states and territories concerned effectively meet the requirements under the standard, especially those concerning confidentiality and data security," the council said in the statement.
"This year, Switzerland has introduced the AEOI with 38 states and territories, including all EU (European Union) member states, and data will start to be exchanged with them in 2018," the council said.
The issue of black money has been under intense debate in India, and Switzerland has long been seen as one of the safest places for people to stash illegal assets.