New Delhi, Oct 9: Just back from Switzerland, President Pratibha Patil says she looks forward to a greater exchange of information on tax-related issues with that country.
"Definitely. The Agreement(Amending Protocol to Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement) will further facilitate the flow of information once its comes into force," Patil says on the pact reached between two countries earlier this year.
The President, who discussed the Agreement with Swiss authorities during her meeting, said the Central Board for Direct Taxes will be able to seek information relating to tax avoidance once it comes into force.
"The agreements is between two government. After the entry into force of the protocol, the CBDT, the competent authority on our side would be able to ask its counterpart agency for information relating to tax avoidance and tax- evasion.
"The CBDT would have to provide information as required by the protocol," she told PTI on board the Air India One aircraft on her way back from Austria on Saturday.
In Austria, her counterpart Heinz Fischer talked about the International Anti-Corruption Academy.
Asked if Austria raised the issue motivated by a feeling that corruption was a big issue back home, Patil said, "I do not think so. This is a new academy which has been set up in Austria by Austria-based United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and few other stakeholders."
Patil said the Academy, set up in March 8, 2011 aims to function as an independent centre of excellence in the field of anti-corruption education, training, networking and cooperation, as well as academic research.
"Fischer would like to highlight the importance of this new institute, for which Austria is the host and to encourage countries including India to join so as to increase membership," she said.
To a query on India tackling corruption, Patil said, "Government of India is taking many steps and measures to fight against corruption. Lok Pal Bill is under consideration. RTI is also there."
In her interactions with the media, Patil had backed supremacy of Parliament and had said the government is sincere about enactment of the Lok Pal Bill.
"Definitely, that is the best way. And it should happen that way. I feel so," Patil said when asked whether the fight against corruption should be led by parliamentary democracy.
Patil backed government's efforts to tackle corruption.
"Government of India is taking a lot of measures. The Bill is before the House and the government is very sincere in passing the bill, the Lok Pal Bill and bringing it into force," she had said.
The President added, "There is no doubt about it." PTI