The States of Jersey, the largest of the Channel Islands (a British Crown Dependency and a self-governing parliamentary democracy) which recently signed the Tax Information and Exchange Agreement(TIEA) with India will be launching a set of proactive measures to aid the Indian Government to prevent financial misconduct and other irregularities. Jersey, known for its stringent regulation regime, was recently endorsed as a cooperative jurisdiction on matters related to tax information exchange by the global forum on transparency Global Forum on Transparency endorses Jersey’s cooperative stance on Tax information exchange and exchange of information.
Geoff Cook, CEO of Jersey Finance Limited, the not-for-profit organization responsible for supporting development of Jersey’s financial service industry, said:“Jersey has always been a jurisdiction which adheres to international standards of cooperation in relation to tax information. We also pioneered the TIEA way back in 2002, and todate have signed treatieswith 25 countries, with many others in advanced stages of negotiation. Jersey has been acknowledged several times internationally. We recognize the Indian Government’s measures in checking the black money menace and pledge complete support to the cause”
Jersey has strong trade links with India, with a presence of a number of companies, including respected Indian banks, such as the Bank of India, WNS (Holdings) Limited (WNS), Cairn India Limited, Essar Energy, Yatra Capital Limited, Vedanta, Mahindra Group and BhartiAirtel. The Reserve Bank of India estimates that in-bound direct investment from Jersey and the Channel Islands was US$516m in 2010, up from just US$44m the previous year. However, the real figure will be higher still as some funds flow from a Jersey entity through other entities in other jurisdictions for the purposes of utilising Double Taxation Agreements (DTA’s). Jersey has also played an important role in supporting a number of offshore funds and transactions dedicated to investment in India, mainly focused on acquisitions, financings and listings. Some of the funds include 3i India Infrastructure Fund, CC Art Limited, Chindia Equity Fund, CNC India Investments, ILP, Tara Feeder Fund, The India Optima Fund, and Urban Infrastructure Real Estate Fund among others.
Mr Cook adds; “The Indian Government can seek assistance where a tax fraud has been perpetrated, taking advantage of the provisions of the island’s Investigation of Fraud Law. Jersey also entered into the Criminal Justice (International Co-operation) (Jersey) Law 2001 which is a gateway through which information can be passed to other jurisdictions in the event of fraud including fiscal fraud. Jersey respects the public interest in India in relation to financial misconduct and also recognizes the active role of civil society and the media in pursuing the matter. We believe that a vibrant democracy like India can pave the way for a more transparent world and we reinforce our commitment to the endeavour and our legacy of being a cooperative and well-regulated jurisdiction”