Anti-money Laundering: Govt agrees to whittle down fiscal crimes list

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ISLAMABAD: In its desperate efforts to get the amended Anti-money Laundering (AML) Bill passed from the Senate, the government on Friday agreed to exclude many proposed tax offences from the list of fiscal crimes that will be dealt under the AML law.

The government lacks majority in the upper house of the Parliament and is dependent on other political parties for smooth sailing of legislative business. PHOTO: FILE

The Ministry of Finance unveiled its revised list of predicate offences in a meeting of Senate Standing Committee on Finance, limiting the fiscal offence to be dealt under AML to only tax frauds, forgery and obstruction in official tax related work. The amendments are proposed in the 2010 Act of the AML.

It had originally proposed to add 26 tax crimes, notably non-filing of income tax returns, as a predicate offence, which should be dealt under the AML regime. The Ministry of Finance and Revenue agreed to reduce the number of crimes to nine in the light of standing committee suggestions, said Finance Secretary Dr Waqar Masood.

Despite conceding significant grounds to the opposition parties, mainly Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP), the committee again refused to clear the Bill until the government excludes the fiscal offence from the proposed amendments.

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