Swiss gold exports to India rise to 42%; hit Rs 50k cr

This comes amidst growing suspicion that a portion of gold and diamond trade is being used to route illicit funds from Swiss banks to India through a complex series of transactions
New Delhi/Berne
As a debate continues on alleged black money stashed by Indians in Swiss banks, India now accounts for nearly 42 per cent of total gold and silver leaving Switzerland shores — largest for any single country. According to the latest official data from the Swiss government, its total export of gold, silver and coins in the month of June 2014 stood at 3.9 billion Swiss franc (over Rs 26,000 crore), out of which India alone accounted for 1.63 billion Swiss franc (about Rs 11,000 crore).
This has taken the overall Swiss exports so far in 2014 to 32.1 billion Swiss franc (about Rs 2.15 lakh crore). Of this, shipments to India have reached nearly Rs 50,000 crore (7.3 billion Swiss franc). The latest data comes at a time when India has stepped up pressure on Switzerland to share information on alleged stashing of black money by Indians in Swiss banks.
Switzerland has committed to cooperate in India’s fight against black money and has also invited an Indian delegation to visit Berne for discussions.
However, a new strategy of ‘layering’ through gold and diamond trade has come to light at Swiss banks to thwart any attempt for identification of real beneficiary owners of funds entrusted with them, government and banking sources told PTI.
‘Layering’ is a key stage in money laundering and involves moving illicit funds through a complex series of deals to complicate the paper trail. An analysis of the Swiss government’s bullion export data shows that India accounted for 41.91 per cent of total exports during June, up from 33 per cent in May and at just about 14 per cent at the start of this year. The gold exports to India in January 2014 stood at less than one billion Swiss francs, but has been consistently rising since then.
In June, Turkey came a distant second after India with less than USD 500 million Swiss franc of Swiss bullion export. Other major destinations were UAE, Singapore and Hong Kong, as also major economies like US, UK, China, France and Germany.
Black money: ‘Warehouse’ of tax data for I-T in the offing
As part of its vigour to track black money in country’s economic channels, the I-T department is creating a new “warehouse” of business related intelligence and funds data which will empower the taxman to check multiple trends of expenses made by individuals and entities. The Tax department, which already has databases to undertake a 360-degree profiling of a person based on PAN card information or debit or credit card usage, has named the new project — Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence (DWBI), which it plans to operationalise by next year.
Source:Bullion Bulletin

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