Senate refers five FATF related bills to concerned committees for deliberation | Pakistan Today

Senate refers five FATF related bills to concerned committees for deliberation

ISLAMABAD: The Upper House of Parliament on Thursday referred five government bills relating to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to the concerned committees for further deliberation that were passed by the National Assembly a day earlier.

State Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan moved four bills, and Minister for Narcotics Control Muhammad Azam Khan Swati moved one bill.

Leader of the opposition Raja Zafar Ul Haq said that there was an agreement that the bills would be referred to concerned committees for detailed discussion following which the Chairman Senate Sadiq Sanjrani agreed on it.
Minister Ali Muhammad Khan said that bills in the National Assembly had been passed in the best interest of the country but, “We have no objection on the referring of bills to committees.”

The chairman senate said that the committee had to present the bills in the House after consultation on an emergency basis as they were related to FATF.

The bills referred to the committees were 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.

The Anti-Terrorism (Amendment) Bill aims to enhance the effectiveness of the implementation of the orders passed by the Federal Government under the Anti-terrorism Act, 1997, and the United Nations (Security Council) Act, 1948.
The amendments are considered essential in the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997. The act mentions penalties that needed to be applied to those who are involved in terrorism outside the boundaries of the country. Also, it is essential to match the penalties, fines, and restrictions for the same kind of punishments and to provide legal powers to the law enforcement agencies for speedy trial and disposal of cases. Furthermore, the facilities required for meeting the necessary expenses through exemptions need to be incorporated in detail.

The Limited Liability Partnership (Amendment) Bill 2020 has suggested various amendments to the Limited Liability Partnership Act 2017 to ensure compliance with the recommendations on anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism issued by FATF. Pakistan’s 2019 Mutual Evaluation Report (MER) on FATF Recommendations issued by the Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG) highlighted a lack of obligations for limited liability partnerships (LLPs) to hold ultimate beneficial ownership information. The report also highlighted a lack of penalties for breach of AML/CFT requirements by LLPs. Accordingly, the proposed amendments are being made to ensure compliance with FATF’s recommendation aimed at enhancing the transparency of legal persons, to fulfill the recommended actions in MER, and to increase the rankings of the country against the aforementioned standards. These amendments also aim to conform to the action plan approved by the National Executive Committee on AML/CFT for compliance with the FATF recommendations.

The Companies (Amendment) Bill 2020 has suggested various amendments to Companies Act 2017 to ensure compliance with the recommendations on anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism issued by FATF. Pakistan’s 2019 MER on FATF Recommendations issued by the Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG) highlighted certain deficiencies for example lack of explicit prohibition on the issuance of bearer shares or bearer share warrants, lack of obligations for companies to hold beneficial ownership information, etc.
The report also recommended that the persons who breach the required measures shall be made subject to effective, proportionate, and dissuasive sanctions. Accordingly, the proposed amendments are being made to ensure compliance with FATF’s recommendation aimed at enhancing the transparency of legal persons, to fulfill the recommended actions in MER, and to increase the country’s ranking against the aforesaid standards.
These are also aimed at conforming to the action plan approved by the National Executive Committee on AML/CFT for compliance with the FATF recommendations.

The Islamabad Capital Territory Trust Bill, 2020 aims to enhance the effectiveness of the implementation of the Orders passed by the Federal Government. This, in turn, caters to effective administration, financial monitoring, and evaluation of the trusts relating to registration, administration, and monitoring of trusts registered within the territorial limits of the Islamabad Capital Territory.

According to the Statement of Objects and Reasons for the Control of Narcotic Substances (Amendment) Bill, 2020, Pakistan has been given a final lifeline by FATF to meet the deficiencies concerning Money Laundering and Terrorists Financing highlighted by Asian Pacific Group. That vide para- 41 of recommendation No.3 of Mutual Evaluation/ Report (MER) 2019 FATF has observed a minor deficiency in Section 12 of Control of Narcotics Substances (CNSI Act 1997 that it restricts the acts of concealment or disguise by making a false declaration. It is highlighted that as per section 12 [c) of CNS Act1997, the scope/applicability of the said section has been confined to “making false declaration with regard to ownership, source, location or true nature of assets”. Moreover, during the meeting held at Financial Monitoring Unit (FMU), it was intimated that legal regime of Pakistan concerning ML and TF is largely compliant, however, in case the deficiencies are not met, it may result into negative impact upon the efforts undertaken by Pakistan to comply with the requirements/observations of FATF.



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