Islamabad: Advisor to Prime Minister on Finance and revenues, Dr. Abdul Hafeez Sheikh said that Pakistan as a responsible member of the international community continues to ensure the early completion of the action plan with the FATF in the framework of increasing the effectiveness of the AML/CFT system.
He noted that of the 27 items of the action Plan with the FATF, Pakistan has turned 14 point action Plan with the FATF and substantialprogress made in resolving the issue, the remaining 13 items of the action Plan.
He was taken to the main statement through the increase in the high-level group on international financial reporting, transparency and integrity for the sake of achieving by 2030 to contribute to the implementation of the 2030 agenda for sustainable development.
The AIF group discussed, among other things, in General, these member States efforts to implement the comprehensive international mechanisms relating to financial accountability, transparency and integrity are critical to financing the sustainable development Goals. His Excellency Mr. Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, President of the General Assembly, and H. E. Ms. Mona Juul, President of the Economic and social Council, was also part of the high-level panel
Dr. Abdul Hafeez Sheikh told the panel that Pakistan has made significant progress in addressing the recommendations of the mutual evaluation report, which includes 15 legal amendments in order to meet compliance of the technical condition, updating of the national risk assessment of ML/TF, the implementation of AML/CFT measures for DNFBPs, SRM and Pakistan post, the extension of the sanctions regime, etc.
In addition, he stated that the government of Pakistan has taken several measures in recent years to curb illicit financial flows by strengthening AML/CFT, the rules of AML/CFT customer due diligence (CDD) and “know your customer” (KYC) and other AML/CFT instructions for financial institutions were brought into line with the FATF standards. For further convergence with the international standards, this law was amended on tax crimes as predicate offences. In the range of predicate offences were added to the schedule of the AML / CFT law, including serious crimes, including corruption, drugs, terrorism and human trafficking, he added.
Dr. Abdul Hafeez Sheikh informed the group that the violations of article 4(1) (UN-authorised FX business) and section 5 (illegal transfer) foreign exchange regulation act ( Fera), 1947, has been included in the plan to fight money laundering (AML) act, 2010, under which these crimes can also be punishable under the AML / CFT law, 2010.He said that changes in the protection of economic reforms act (Pera) 1992 was included to limit the feeding of foreign currency accounts without tax Filers Pakistani residents.
The adviser stated that Pakistan initiated money transfers Pakistan (IRP) to facilitate inward remittances to Pakistan through official channels. Thus, in Pakistan, registered an increase in remittances over the last decade, increasing from $ 6.4 billion in FY08 to $ 23 billion in FY20. Automating the import of electronic form (EIF) and electronic exports (EEF) banks through Pakistan customs software – web services (WeBOC) to synchronize import and export of goods and payments banks were also some of the steps taken by the government in order to further improve processes. He said that the State Bank of Pakistan and Federal investigation Agency of Pakistan continue to identify illicit IEC (operators Hawa/ Hindi) and take action until their closure, investigation and prosecution of these operators.
In his statement, Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh also urged the panel to look at how transnational corporations minimize their tax liabilities to the tax authorities in its countries of operations. He noted that TNCs have developed sophisticated financial and operational models that allow them to maneuver your way through the tax system to shift their profits to low-tax jurisdictions and, in many cases, tax havens, which are very opaque in nature.
He said that Panama paper highlighted the myriad ways in which the rich can exploit secretive offshore tax regimes and to expand the gap between rich and poor. The abuse of anonymous shell companies is one of the reasons why many countries today are faced with great challenges in the face of COVID-19 pandemic. For many years, they have allowed corruption, fraud and tax evasion, he said.
He also drew the attention of the group to study “transparency international” shows that the overall level of compliance by countries with useful standards of transparency of ownership has been low, as many countries failed to take adequate measures, such as the establishment of registers. Asset recovery in developing countries was slow and the legal framework remains cumbersome, he said.