The 3-month deadline extension for the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) review gives the government a chance to find a resolution regarding the completion of the remaining 13 points of the FATF to get us off the grey list. There is also the urgent need to do something about the rapidly increasing circular debt; currently at Rs2.2 trillion. However, instead of discussing these pressing issues, the meeting of the National Assembly’s committee on Finance was called off due to a lack of quorum exhibited by parliamentarians.

As such, the pre-decided agenda of tackling crucial issues relating to the 2020 bills of the Government Savings Bank, Post Office Cash Certificate, Post Office National Savings Certificate and Financial Institutions (secured Transactions) was left in the air—odd considering how straightforward the proceedings would have been. When the committee will be able to reconvene and pass legislation that satisfies FATF requirements and meet the October deadline is yet to be announced.

Given that it is imperative for Pakistan to exit FATF’s grey list, the need for prompt action cannot be understated. Parliamentary committees exist to give politicians a platform through which they can foster discourse and pass effective legislation. Only through maintaining decorum will the promise of the proposals be understood along with the reservations of the opposition. Thus, basic guidelines such as attendance, patience and respect need to become permanent features so that agendas can be followed, agreements can be reached and solutions can be implemented.

Complying with 27 FATF conditions is no mean feat but having already fulfilled 14 successfully, there is no doubt that it is well in the capacity for our government to resolve this matter. Through a little discipline, recovery from this setback, as well as the long-term rescue from jeopardy, is possible. Our political representatives just need to ensure that they work diligently on these issues.