Black Money

Indians have ‘relatively few’ deposits in Swiss banks, says bankers’ association

Switzerland had on Friday ratified automatic exchange of financial information with India and 40 other jurisdictions.

A group of private bankers from Switzerland has said that Indians hold “relatively few” deposits in Swiss banks when compared with countries like Singapore and Hong Kong, PTI reported on Sunday. Money held by Indians in Swiss banks declined to a record low of 1.2 billion franc (about Rs 80 billion) at the end of 2015.

Switzerland had on Friday ratified the automatic exchange of financial information with India and 40 other jurisdictions. In this regard, the Geneva-based Association of Swiss Private Banks had said there was no particular concern about India, as “the rule of law seems to be properly upheld there”.

The association’s manager Jan Langlo said that it was simply more “practical” for Indians to open accounts in an Asian financial hub rather than in Switzerland.

According to data from the Swiss National Bank, funds held by Indians with banks in Switzerland fell to 1.217 billion franc at the end of 2015. It was the highest in 2005-06, when Indians held Rs 6.5 billion franc (Rs 430 billion) in Swiss banks. The quantum of money held by Indians has been falling since then, except for jumps in 2011 and 2013.

After Switzerland ratified the Automatic Exchange of Information on Friday, India will be able to access transactions by Indians with Swiss banks after September 2019. India and Switzerland had earlier held talks for introduction of the AEOI on tax matters under the guidance of the G20 countries, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development and other world bodies. However, details of Swiss bank accounts held before 2018 will not be made available to India.

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Following a mountaineer as he reaches the summit of Mount Everest

Accounts from Vikas Dimri’s second attempt reveal the immense fortitude and strength needed to summit the Everest.

Vikas Dimri made a huge attempt last year to climb the Mount Everest. Fate had other plans. Thwarted by unfavourable weather at the last minute, he came so close and yet not close enough to say he was at the top. But that did not deter him. Vikas is back on the Everest trail now, and this time he’s sharing his experiences at every leg of the journey.

The Everest journey began from the Lukla airport, known for its dicey landing conditions. It reminded him of the failed expedition, but he still moved on to Namche Bazaar - the staging point for Everest expeditions - with a positive mind. Vikas let the wisdom of the mountains guide him as he battled doubt and memories of the previous expedition. In his words, the Everest taught him that, “To conquer our personal Everest, we need to drop all our unnecessary baggage, be it physical or mental or even emotional”.

Vikas used a ‘descent for ascent’ approach to acclimatise. In this approach, mountaineers gain altitude during the day, but descend to catch some sleep. Acclimatising to such high altitudes is crucial as the lack of adequate oxygen can cause dizziness, nausea, headache and even muscle death. As Vikas prepared to scale the riskiest part of the climb - the unstable and continuously melting Khumbhu ice fall - he pondered over his journey so far.

His brother’s diagnosis of a heart condition in his youth was a wakeup call for the rather sedentary Vikas, and that is when he started focusing on his health more. For the first time in his life, he began to appreciate the power of nutrition and experimented with different diets and supplements for their health benefits. His quest for better health also motivated him to take up hiking, marathon running, squash and, eventually, a summit of the Everest.

Back in the Himalayas, after a string of sleepless nights, Vikas and his team ascended to Camp 2 (6,500m) as planned, and then descended to Base Camp for the basic luxuries - hot shower, hot lunch and essential supplements. Back up at Camp 2, the weather played spoiler again as a jet stream - a fast-flowing, narrow air current - moved right over the mountain. Wisdom from the mountains helped Vikas maintain perspective as they were required to descend 15km to Pheriche Valley. He accepted that “strength lies not merely in chasing the big dream, but also in...accepting that things could go wrong.”

At Camp 4 (8,000m), famously known as the death zone, Vikas caught a clear glimpse of the summit – his dream standing rather tall in front of him.

It was the 18th of May 2018 and Vikas finally reached the top. The top of his Everest…the top of Mount Everest!

Watch the video below to see actual moments from Vikas’ climb.

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Vikas credits his strength to dedication, exercise and a healthy diet. He credits dietary supplements for helping him sustain himself in the inhuman conditions on Mount Everest. On heights like these where the oxygen supply drops to 1/3rd the levels on the ground, the body requires 3 times the regular blood volume to pump the requisite amount of oxygen. He, thus, doesn’t embark on an expedition without double checking his supplements and uses Livogen as an aid to maintain adequate amounts of iron in his blood.

Livogen is proud to have supported Vikas Dimri on his ambitious quest and salutes his spirit. To read more about the benefits of iron, see here. To read Vikas Dimri’s account of his expedition, click here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Livogen and not by the Scroll editorial team.