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India, Mauritius to revisit tax treaty today

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Mauritius Finance Minister Seetanah Lutchmeenaraidoo

Indian and Mauritian officials will hold talks on the proposed amendments to their bilateral tax treaty, starting on Monday.

The changes to the treaty have been hanging fire amid apprehensions on the Indian side that Mauritius, one of the largest sources of foreign direct investment, is being used to route unaccounted money Mauritius has submitted a “draft protocol” with regard to amending the Double Taxation Avoidance Convention (DTAC).

The two-day talks between officials from both countries will start on June 29.

Mauritius Finance Minister Seetanah Lutchmeenaraidoo, earlier this month, assured that shell companies would not be allowed to operate from his country.

A Joint Working Group has been set up to find a mutually acceptable solution towards revision of the pact. About 10 meetings of the JWG have taken place so far.

"We have submitted a draft protocol for the first time to the government. The draft protocol will be used as a basis to finalise all discussions," he said during his recent visit here.

Investments from Mauritius to India have totalled USD 87.55 billion since April 2000.

In its fight against black money, India has started the process of revising its taxation treaties with various countries to include a provision for exchange of information.

Last week, Mauritius became a signatory to the multilateral framework that provides mutual administrative assistance on tax matters with India and other countries.

Mauritius has inked the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters.

The framework is primarily aimed at ensuring more exchange of tax information among countries to help curb the flow of unaccounted money and assets.

The convention also provides for administrative assistance among tax authorities for information exchange, including automatic exchange, simultaneous tax examination and assistance in the collection of tax debt.

India, the US, Switzerland and the UK are among the 87 jurisdictions participating in the convention.

First Published: Mon, June 29 2015. 00:22 IST