ISLAMABAD: The Federal Cabinet has reportedly approved draft rules/notifications of National Policy Statement on follow the money, Anti-Money Laundering Rules, 2021, appointment of public prosecutors and appointment of administrators under AML Act, 2010, aimed at meeting the conditions of Financial Action Task Force (FATF), well informed sources in Finance Ministry told Business Recorder.
Sharing the details, sources said, based on the outcomes of the mutual evaluation, Pakistan was placed by Asia Pacific Group (APG) in (expedited) enhanced follow-up process which requires the country to submit its follow-up report with an update on the progress made almost every quarter to the APG. These Follow-Up Reports (FURs) provide Pakistan a chance to request an upgrade in ratings of recommendations which have been earlier rated as ‘partially’ and ‘non-compliant’ and where subsequently significant progress has been made.
The sources maintained that so far Pakistan has submitted three FURs in February 2020, October 2020 and in February 2021. Out of these FURs, only one report has been adopted by APG in which Pakistan was re-rated in recommendation No. 29 (Financial Intelligence Unit) from ‘partially compliant’ to ‘compliant’. In the remaining two FURs, Pakistan has requested for re-rating in 27 recommendations, analysis of which is being conducted by APG which will be adopted in May 2021.
In order to review progress on Pakistan's Mutual Evaluation Report, the Finance Minister/Chairman National Executive Committee (NEC) convened the 17th meeting of NEC constituted under Section 5 of the AML Act 2010 on March1, 2021 at Finance Division.
During the meeting, following draft rules/notifications were approved by the NEC for further necessary action: (i) National Policy Statement on follow the money; (ii) AML(Forfeited Properties Management) Rules 2021; (iii) The Anti-Money Laundering (Referral) Rules,2021; (iv) notifications for amendment in the schedule IV of the AML Act,2012 and previously published through notification No. S.R.O 952(1)/2022 on October 1, 2020; (v) appointment of public prosecutors under Section 22(2) of the AML Act, 2010 by the investigating and prosecuting agencies; and (vi) appointment of Administrators under Anti-Money Laundering Act 2010.
The sources said with the approval and issuance of National Policy Statement on follow the money and rules as well as completion of required actions, Pakistan’s compliance with FATF recommendations in Post Observation Period Report (POPR) would further improve with corresponding enhancement in the ratings of effectiveness of relevant FATF’s immediate outcomes.
According to sources, Pakistan’s POPP would be reviewed by FATF's Asia-Pacific Joint Group and based on the reports of this Group, FATF would decide the further course of action on Pakistan's progress on POPR in its plenary scheduled in June 2021.
Under Sections 11(1) and 22(2) of Anti-Money Laundering Act, 2010, the Federal Government may, by notification and by order published in the official gazette, appoint the Administrators and Prosecutors; whereas under Section 6(c) read with clauses (xxiv) of Section 2, Sections 42 and 43 of AML Act, 2010, the Federal Government may make amendments in the SRO as well as Schedule and further make rules respectively in consultation with the National Executive Committee and by notification in the official gazette.
The sources said Financial Monitoring Unit has requested Finance Division to process the case for approval of draft notifications/rules by Federal Cabinet before issuance. The draft notifications/rules have also been vetted by the Law and Justice Division.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021