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FATF asks Pakistan to amend foreign exchange laws within 3 months

FATF asks Pakistan to amend foreign exchange laws within 3 months

ISLAMABAD: The government of Pakistan will have to pass amendments into Anti Money Laundering (AML) and Foreign Exchange Regulation laws within the next three months to comply with the conditions set forward by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

According to official sources the financial watchdog has extended deadline for Pakistan till next plenary meeting expected to be held in October 2020.

Sources said that after the tragic demise of DG Financial Monitoring Unit (FMU) Mansoor Hassan Siddiqui a few months back, the post was fallen vacant but now the government-appointed Lubna Farooq Malik, Executive Director SBP, as DG FMU.

The notification of her appointment has been issued but she has not take charge of her new post.

There was a proposal on the eve of the budget-making process for 2020-21 to incorporate some amendments related to Anti Terrorism Act (ATA) and AML as part of the Finance Bill but it was rejected and decided that separate legislation would be pursued to seek approval of Parliament. The government had proposed some changes to nonprofit organisations (NPOs) and trusts related to income tax laws in order to comply with the FATF requirements.

When contacted, the Finance Ministry high-ups said that the FATF extended the deadline for the compliance report until October 2020. The government is working on bringing these changes into different laws and the pending legislation bills would be pursued vigorously.

The FATF had placed Pakistan on the grey list in June 2018 and placed 27 conditions for review for complying in one year, till September 2019. Pakistan was so far given three extensions of three months each, every time to comply with 27-point action plans. Out of the 27-point action plan, the FATF had so far declared Pakistan fully compliant on 14 points and now there is a deadline of September/October 2020 for complying on the remaining 13 points in a bid to ensure exit from the grey list of the watchdog.