Five FATF-related bills sail through NA

ISLAMABAD: A day after the government and the opposition succeeded after much dilly-dallying in developing a consensus on six out of eight Financial Action Task Force (FATF)-related bills, the National Assembly (NA) on Wednesday smoothly passed five bills after their approval from Standing Committee on Finance.

The bills, presented by Minister for Law and Justice Farogh Naseem included the Anti-Terrorism (Amendment) Bill, 2020, the Limited Liability Partnership (Amendment) Bill, 2020, the Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2020, the Control of Narcotic Substances (Amendment) Bill, 2020 and the Islamabad Capital Territory Trust Bill, 2020.

Speaking on the floor of the House, the minister termed the day a historic one, saying that the legislation was carried out in the larger interest of the country.

“Whitening the economy and keeping a check of potential terror financing is important to take the country forward on the road to development,” Naseem said.

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Earlier, while addressing the House, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had said terror financing and money laundering was a menace the country needed to confront.

“Long deliberations were held with the opposition parties to reach consensus on the FATF related legislation,” he said referring to opposition parties complaints about the bill being approved NA Standing Committee on Finance on Monday.

The government had deferred the presentation of the legislation for a day in order to meet conditions of the FATF and engage the opposition parties through Speaker Asad Qaiser with whose efforts the government had previously managed to get three such bills approved through parliament.

The treasury had decided to take the opposition on board on the legislation that had already been passed by the assembly’s standing committees amid protest by the opposition parties and following their announcement to block these bills in parliament.

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