Stressing that the era of banking secrecy laws was over, Department of Economic Affairs Secretary R Gopalan said it was vital to build a consensus on sharing of past banking data as it would help in investigation of earlier cases of tax evasion.
"This is essential, if the spirit of the G-20 London Summit that 'the era of bank secrecy is over' is to be respected," he said on the occasion of the signature ceremony of the Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters last night.
Gopalan, who is here as part of the official delegation to the G-20 Summit, also said that India would be signing the convention, along with with China and Saudi Arabia.
In order to check the menace of tax evasion and illicit flows of capital, he said, India has already entered into 58 agreements for sharing of tax information.
During his intervention at the summit yesterday, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said tax evasion and illicit flows were posing serious problems and wanted the G-20 to send a strong message to curb such activity.
"G-20 countries should take the lead in agreeing to automatic exchange of tax-related information with each other, irrespective of artificial distinctions such as past or present, for tax evasion or tax fraud, in the spirit of our London Summit that 'the era of bank secrecy is over'," he had said.