Senate passes financial crimes authority bill

ISLAMABAD: The Senate on Friday passed a bill to establish a National Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Financing of Terrorism Authority in Pakistan, after it was approved by the National Assembly last night.

The bill was tabled in the upper house by Foreign Affairs State Minister Hina Rabbani Khar. It aims to strengthen efforts in countering money laundering and terror financing. It also seeks to avoid punitive actions from the global watchdog, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

NA approves financial crimes authority bill

According to reports, concerns were raised over the bill by the opposition parties Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). It was also opposed by ruling party lawmakers Raza Rabbani, Tahir Bizenjo, and Kamran Murtaza.

They said that imposing hasty legislation would have far-reaching consequences, and recommended more time be given for a review of bills. Khar, however, maintained that legislation was vital to countering terror financing.

Pakistan was grey-listed by the FATF in 2018 for strategic deficiencies in countering terror financing. Finance Minister Ishaq Dar told the house that the federal government had to give the international watchdog a layout of its future plan to be removed from the list.

The new authority will comprise of the finance secretary, foreign affairs secretary, interior secretary, State Bank of Pakistan governor, Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan chairman, National Accountability Bureau chairman, Federal Investigation Agency DG, Anti-Narcotics Force DG, Federal Board of Revenue chairman, Financial Monitoring Unit DG, NACTA national coordinator and the chief secretaries of provinces.



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