ISLAMABAD-National Assembly Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue on Tuesday has expressed reservations for referring three important bills including Anti-Money Laundering Bill (Second Amendment) Bill 2020 to the special parliamentary committee on legislation.

The Meeting of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue was under the chairmanship of MNA Faiz Ullah. The committee has referred three bills including Anti-Money Laundering Bill (Second Amendment) Bill 2020, The Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2020 and The Limited Liability Partnership (Amendment) Bill, 2020 to the special parliamentary committee on legislation.

Opposition members have expressed reservations over the decision of referring bills to special parliamentary committee on legislation. They said that government should stop other standing committees from the work if it is giving all powers to the special parliamentary committee on legislation. Committee chairman responded to the opposition members by saying that special committee has the representation of PML-N and PPP. He said that Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser had constituted the special committee in consultations of the opposition parties. Nafeesa Shah of PPP said that 28th July (Tuesday) was the black day in the history of parliament when government is ignoring standing committees in legislation. She held Speaker National Assembly responsible for it. Hina Rabbani Khar of PPP said that government is not serious in making legislation for the FATF. The government has brought the Bill in the last month before sending report to FATF, she added.

Director General Financial Monitoring Unit Lubna Farooq briefed the committee on Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Action Plan. She informed that Pakistan had already addressed 14 out of 27 FATF Action Plan items. The committee was informed that Pakistan is also undergoing a separate scrutiny process by the Asia Pacific Group that has found Islamabad’s compliance to only 10 recommendations out of 40. She further informed that Pakistan would have to make legislation till August for complying with FATF’s directions. Pakistan would have to send report to FATF by August 6. The APG meeting of Mutual Evaluation would help in September this year.

Under the new amendments, the government has proposed increasing punishment in terror financing cases and providing a legal base to help other countries in terrorism-related investigations in order to meet the FATF requirements. The committee members noted that International Monetary Fund (IMF) is asking Pakistan to implement FATF’s directions.

The committee has once again expressed displeasure over absence of Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Abdul Hafeez Shaikh from the committee meetings. Committee chairman assured that Adviser would attend the next committee meeting. Otherwise, he would quit the post of Chairman Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue.