Towards checking money laundering

2003

IT is for the first time that some serious efforts are being seen to
check the menace of money laundering which in fact has seriously and badly affected the country’s economy. It is in country’s own interests to put in place such strict measures that check this trend rather than doing this on the instructions of others.
After a hiatus of months, National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Finance Tuesday unanimously cleared two revised Bills seeking amendments to anti-money laundering law and foreign exchange regulations to meet requirements of Financial Action Task Force (FATF). In doing so, the Committee led by former Finance Minister Asad Umar secured safeguards to the proposed amendments by requiring investigation officers to have court warrants before arresting persons suspected of committing crimes. Indeed this is step in the right direction in order to check abuse of power by the relevant officers which often results in embarrassment for the institutions. The two Bills are important in the sense that these will strengthen the existing laws on money laundering and foreign exchange control to make them more stringent to fight money laundering, hundi, hawala and effectively regulate foreign exchange transactions to meet standards of the Paris-based global watchdog on financial crimes. Now the Bills will be moved in the National Assembly for passage and we expect that both the Treasury and Opposition benches will adopt the bills unanimously without doing any politics on it as these are in the national interest. We believe that by putting in place such tough measures will also help stabilize the currency in the country. Then it is also important that the formal channels of remitting funds should be streamlined. One of the reasons for the people to avail illegal hawala and hundi transactions is the inability of regular/legal channels to deliver on their genuine requirements.

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