Positive development Reported for Pakistan from the FATF plenary session

Positive development Reported for Pakistan from the FATF plenary session

ISLAMABAD - Positive development Reported for Pakistan from the Financial Action Task Force FATF plenary session.

Pakistan getting into the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) blacklist have diminished as several key players have termed Islamabad’s performance in the implementation of the 27-point recommendations regarding the anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism mechanism as “commendable”, according to a report.

Reportedly, Pakistan has already obtained the support required to avoid the blacklist. However, during the meeting, no voting will be done on Pakistan’s exit from the grey list as the period of stay in the list is at least two years.

Earlier in January, media reports emerging both from Pakistan and India suggested “high chances” of Pakistan “exiting” the grey list at its plenary meeting.

According to *India Today* link, after heavy lobbying by China and with the help of a private consultant who is a FATF veteran, there is “a 75 percent chance of Pakistan exiting the grey list now”.

As Pakistan is required to take appropriate measures for the implementation of 27 points by October 2020, reports observed that Pakistan has adopted an effective strategy in the financial sector to curb terror financing and enhanced cooperation between institutions to combat the transfer of funds to terrorists.

The staff of the non-banking finance sector was informed about measures taken by the state concerning FATF’s action points for AML/CFT.

Moreover, the efforts of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to effectively monitor financial institutions through audits and maintenance of passengers’ data at the airports have been hailed.

The global illicit financing watchdog has also been informed of Pakistan’s strategic plan to restrict the smuggling of currency, jewelry and other valuables.

In the light of the FATF recommendations, the Tax Laws (second amendment) Ordinance, 2019, was issued to prevent the smuggling of currency and other valuables, which was made applicable from Dec. 26, 2019.

Under the ordinance, strict penalties were to be imposed on the smuggling of foreign currency, gold and diamonds.

The government, through a presidential ordinance, introduced significant changes to tax laws to implement concessions promised to traders, reduce the duty on import of low-value mobile phones, and penalise currency smugglers.

The 24-page ordinance was notified on Dec 28 last year. The amendments were also applied to income tax, sales tax and customs duty.