Pakistani Ministries to Compile Proposals to take Country’s Name off FATF Grey List
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The federal government has given the relevant ministries and divisions till March 15 to finalize their proposals for removing Pakistan’s name from the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) grey list. The authorities would review the proposals for tackling money laundering and terror financing through legal amendments to the Constitution and send them to the National Assembly by March 30 for approval.
The global financial watchdog in its meeting held last month in Paris had kept Pakistan on its grey list after reviewing the country’s progress on its 27-point plan of action. Sources said the FATF officials noted substantial progress on some points while partial on others due to which Pakistan avoided being blacklisted.
“The FATF has given Pakistan time till October 2020 to meet the remaining requirements.” Earlier, in the 15th National Economic Council meeting, Finance Adviser Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh told the participants that the prime minister’s meeting with the US president on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos was “productive”.
“Prime Minister Imran Khan has shown his government’s political commitment on AML/CFT measures, especially on implementation of FATF action plan.” The NEC meeting decided to make amendments to the Constitution to meet the remaining 16 of the 27 FATF conditions. The meeting was informed that time for the legislation process required to meet the FATF conditions would be very short as the next budget would be presented in parliament in June after which no meeting of parliament would be held till September.
The Director General Military Operation told the participants of the meeting that there are a number of recommendations of the Asia-Pacific Group of the FATF and in the near future significant work is required to be done on these recommendations. Highlighting the significance of prompt collective action and need for political ownership, he stressed that for moving out of the grey list a prioritized, sustained and focused effort is required from all stakeholders, especially the political leadership.
Further, he emphasized that the finance bill is to be presented in parliament in June after which parliament is likely to meet not before September, leaving insufficient time to finalize all required legislative actions by October. “Hence, it is prudent that we should finalize all required legislative actions before the start of June. In order to achieve this deadline, all the preliminary work should be completed and bills should be placed before parliament latest by end of March.”