India, Bahrain sign pact aimed at curbing tax evasion

New Delhi: Taking yet another step towards tracking black money stashed abroad, India on Thursday signed an agreement with Bahrain that is aimed at curbing tax evasion and avoidance.

The Agreement for Exchange of Information with respect to Taxes was signed by Minister of State for Finance Namo Narain Meena and Bahrain`s Minister of Transportation and Acting Chief Executive of Economic Development Board Kamal Ahmed here.

The agreement, providing for effective exchange of information between the concerned authorities in India and Bahrain, is aimed at helping curb tax evasion and tax avoidance.

The pact, signed during the visit of Bahrain`s Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa here, assumes significance considering Indian government`s efforts to track black money stashed abroad.

The two countries also signed an MoU on cooperation in Information and Technology sector.

Al Khalifa, accompanied by a large business delegation, held talks with Vice President Hamid Ansari during which the two sides are understood to have discussed ways to promote bilateral trade and investment.

The Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of Bahrain also meet President Pratibha Patil, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and External Affairs Minister S M Krishna.

This is the second visit of the Crown Prince to India, the last one was in March 2007.

India and Bahrain enjoy historically close and friendly relations with the presence of nearly 350,000 Indian nationals out of a total of 1.2 million residents in Bahrain being an important aspect of bilateral relations.

Trade and investment cooperation is expanding and the volume of commerce was USD 1.5 billion during 2010-11.