Switzerland Current Affairs - 2019
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A significant decline was registered in the level of Indians’ money stashed in Swiss banks as it reached to a record low level of about Rs 9,000 crore (1.42 billion Swiss francs), as global pressure against the famed secrecy of Switzerland banking system made it unattractive for their global clients. As per official data released by Swiss National Bank (SNB):
- Total funds held by Indian individuals and entities included 1.34 billion Swiss francs held directly by Indian individuals and entities, and another 77 million Swiss francs through ‘fiduciaries’ or wealth managers at the end of 2012.
- Indians’ money fell by about 35% or Rs 4,900 crore in 2012.
- 9.1% fall in the funds held by entities from across the world in Swiss banks, which also hit an all-time low of 1.4 trillion Swiss francs (USD 1.5 trillion) at the end of 2012.
- At the beginning of 2012, Indians’ money was Rs 14,000 crore (2.18 billion Swiss francs), the equivalent figure for entities from across the world stood at 1.5 trillion Swiss francs (USD 1.65 trillion).
- The figures are ‘liabilities’ of Swiss banks towards their clients from India, it doesn’t indicate towards the quantum of the much-debated alleged black money stashed there.
- Figures do not include the money that Indians or others might have in Swiss banks in the names of others.
- The quantum of funds held by Indians in Swiss banks was at 6.5 billion Swiss francs (over Rs 41,000 crore) at the end of 2006, but has decreased by over five billion Swiss francs (over Rs 32,000 crore) since then.
Where is this money going?
Switzerland is facing growing pressure from the US and other countries to share the foreign client details, while its own lawmakers are resisting such measures. As per experts, there has been a “perceptible flight of funds” of Indian holders from Swiss banks to other places in the recent years. It is feared that the money might be routed back to India, either into the stock market through FIIs or even via the FDI route.
As per the Better Life Index released by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Australia was ranked as the world’s happiest nation among developed economies for the third consecutive year. The index ranked over 30 nations on criteria like income levels, health, safety and housing.
Key points of Better Life Index:
Top Ranking Nations:
What makes Australia different from other nations?
- Australia is above the OECD average of percentage of people having a paid job, as the country has over 73% of its 23 million people aged 15 to 64 hold a paid job.
- An infant born in Australia has a Life Expectancy of above 82 years.
- Australia’s economy showcased more than two decades of straight growth due to demand for its natural resources.
- It managed to beat the financial crisis and was the only major developed country to prevent the global recession in 2009.
- The Australian dollar is currently trading close to 30 year highs.
Despite all the above positive facts, Australia is facing challenge in the form of a widening income gap. As per OECD, the top 20% of Australia’s population earn six times more than the bottom 20%.