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India seeks info on 97 cases from Mauritius in one year

Mauritius has provided details on majority of information requests received from Indian authorities in the last one year, according to a government official.

India has concerns that Mauritius, which is one of the top sources of foreign direct investments into the country, is being used for round-tripping of funds. Round-tripping is usually referred to routing of domestic investments through Mauritius to take advantage of the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) between the two countries.

The island nation received requests for information in 97 cases from India during the year ended August.

The Mauritius government official said the 85 per cent of those requests have been resolved and efforts are on to address concerns of Indian authorities in the remaining ones.

“Between August 2013 and August this year, we have received requests in as many as 97 cases for the exchange of information with Indian authorities and we have already provided banking information and other financial details to them in 85 per cent of these cases,” M Rawoteea, Head Analyst at Ministry of Finance, Mauritius told PTI.

According to Rawoteea, some of the requests were received in June and July.

Over the past few years, effective exchange of information between the two countries has taken place in at least 170 cases.

Emphasising that Mauritius is a credible international financial centre, Rawoteea said the country is always ready to address the concerns of Indian authorities.

“In fact, we are ready to walk extra-mile to address the concern of India. We are even ready to work with Indian government on the Special Investigation Team (SIT), set up (in India) for unearthing black money, if we are asked for,” Rawoteea noted.

Negotiations to amend the Indo-Mauritius tax treaty have been hanging for a long time amid India’s apprehensions that it is being misused to route unaccounted money.

Meanwhile, Mauritius has strengthened measures to prevent any round tripping of funds through the island nation. Among others, provisions are in place whereby even license of entities can be cancelled if they are found to be indulging in money laundering activities.

Rawoteea noted that Mauritius has one of the most stringent anti-money laundering legislations, that shows its “pro-activeness” to prevent any kind of illicit transactions from being structured in the country.

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