EU’s support to Pakistan on FATF

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Offer of the European Union for technical assistance to Pakistan for implementation of the Financial Action Task Force action plan is a positive development for executing the plan. This offer was made at the tenth session of the European Union-Pakistan Joint Commission in Brussels on Friday. Pakistan has already been implementing strict laws to curb money laundering . All travelers within Pakistan have been forbidden from carrying more than $10,000 under the new rules except with the permission from the State Bank of Pakistan. The state has restricted international travelers from carrying $10,000 or above i.e. they would be required to use proper banking channel(s) for the transfer of the amount. SBP has directed all commercial banks in Pakistan to discontinue Rs40, 000 national prize bonds. The government has decided to freeze sales of these instruments after it was alleged that huge amounts of black money was used to buy these bonds as they also offer prize money worth millions. Pakistan has presented its 26-page report before the intergovernmental organization regarding the measures which have been taken to prevent money laundering, terror financing and other recommendations. The report was collectively prepared by five institutions. The National Assembly passed two bills, on September 30, 2019 including the Foreign Exchange Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2019, and the Anti Money Laundering (Amendment) Bill, 2019. The proposed amendments reflect the Government’s firm resolves to strengthen its Anti-Money Laundering regime; these amendments are aimed at streamlining the existing AML law in line with international standards and suggest enhancing the punishment of offence of money laundering to make it more dissuasive and deterrent. The amendments suggest making the offence punishable under the AML Act, 2010 as “cognizable offence”. India has been conducting malicious campaign against Pakistan and trying to politicize the FATF proceedings time and again. Pakistan has urged the group’s members to take notice of India’s malicious campaign against Pakistan and reject any attempt aimed at politicizing the FATF proceedings. In addition to Pakistan’s effort, European Union’s support will help the country lot to come out of the grey list very soon.

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