Home Newspaper Pakistan to implement FATF action plan by February: Hafeez – Newspaper

Pakistan to implement FATF action plan by February: Hafeez – Newspaper

Pakistan to implement FATF action plan by February: Hafeez - Newspaper

WASHINGTON: Pakistan is committed to fully implementing its action plan to counter money laundering and terrorist financing by February next year and there is no disagreement among the institutions of several governments on this issue, says financial advisor Abdul Hafeez Shaikh.

A global control agency for money laundering and terrorist financing, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), gave Pakistan a four-month lifeline on Friday, urging Islamabad to honor its commitments by February 2020 .

Speaking to the US-based Pakistani media on Sunday night, Sheikh also highlighted the government's efforts to revive the national economy.

“Basically, all government institutions are on the same page on this topic. We will make the decisions we need to combat money laundering and terrorist financing, ”said the advisor when answering a question about the FATF deadline.

The FATF also warned Pakistan that non-compliance with its international monitoring agency could return the country to a list of jurisdictions classified as non-cooperative and tax havens for terrorist financing.

Popularly known as the blacklist, placement could lead to punitive action, including the FATF urging all jurisdictions to monitor their business relations and transactions with Pakistan.

In 2012, Pakistan was included in the so-called gray list of countries considered non-cooperative and tax havens for terrorist financing. He remained on this list until 2015. Pakistan was replaced on the gray list on June 29, 2018 and was given 15 months to implement a 27-point action plan agreed with the FATF.

The Paris-based FATF reviewed the measures that Pakistan has taken so far in a five-day plenary session at its headquarters, which concluded on Friday. Representatives from 206 countries and jurisdictions around the world participated in the meeting.

Responding to a question at his press conference at the Pakistani Embassy in Washington, Shaikh said at a previous meeting that the FATF had only recognized progress in five of the 27 recommended actions. “Now, he has recognized progress in 22, which shows that we are constantly implementing the plan. We are committed to completing the plan for February, ”he added.

Shaikh did not agree with the suggestion that the measures proposed by the FATF had hindered the national economy. "These measures are to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing and are not linked to economic growth," he said.

The adviser said he visited Washington to attend the annual meetings of the World Bank group, but also took this opportunity to share the government's plan to revive the national economy with finance ministers and officials from other states who attended these meetings.

The annual World Bank group meeting is one of the largest financial officer meetings in the world and hundreds of delegates from around the world attend.

In a meeting with the IMF managing director, Krsitalina Georgieva, Shaikh said that the results of the first quarter of the IMF-Pakistan program indicated that the country's economy was on track to stabilization and that the reforms initiated under the program were showing positive results.

Ms. Georgieva said the IMF recognized that Pakistan was making difficult decisions to stabilize its economy and secured the IMF's continued support for the reform process.

Shaikh also met with the Managing Director of the World Bank, Axel Van Trotsenburg, and highlighted the government's focus on accelerating the rapid deployment of World Bank pipeline projects.

Trotsenburg said Pakistan was among the main partners and beneficiaries of the World Bank and urged Islamabad to make optimal use of the resources available to the World Bank.

At a meeting with the advisor, an IFC team led by its vice president, Nena Stoiljkovic, explained the IFC's pipeline projects in Pakistan, particularly in the wind and solar sectors, and also expressed interest in providing advisory services for structure public-private partnership transactions.

Sheikh and members of the Pakistan delegation also met with members of the EE Business Council. UU. And Pakistan (UPBC) and explained the government's focus on improving the environment of the ease of doing business in the country. He also encouraged US companies to expand their presence in Pakistan.

The Pakistani delegation also met with the president of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) Jin Liqun and discussed with him the AIIB portfolio in Pakistan and possible areas of project financing by the bank.

The president of AIIB reiterated his support for Pakistan's development agenda and said that AIIB was ready to increase funds for priority development sectors in Pakistan.

Posted on Dawn, October 22, 2019

Source: https://www.dawn.com/news/1512153/pakistan-to-implement-fatf-action-plan-by-february-hafeez

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