Money-laundering: PM Imran calls for new law

ISLAMABADPrime Minister Imran Khan has called for a new legislation to be finalised within a week’s time to effectively deal with offences related to money laundering and further strengthen existing laws to effectively check hawala, hundi and other illegal/corrupt practices that are negatively impacting the economy.The decision was taken during a high level meeting at Prime Minister’s Office on Friday, where the PM further approved package to incentivise remittance through legal channels.It was also decided during the meeting the State Bank of Pakistan, being regulatory authority in the banking sector, would take action against elements involved in facilitating the opening and operation of fake bank accounts in the country.

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It was also decided during the meeting necessary amendments would be introduced in existing laws including Anti-Money Laundering Act 2010 to further strengthen them for effectively dealing with cases of money laundering and other illegal practices.Meanwhile, secretary Interior informed that taskforces, at national as well as provincial levels, have been constituted with an aim to identify legislative and administrative constraints in effective implementation of AML activities and to suggest corrective measures towards its eradication.The provincial taskforces have been mandated to take timely action against those involved in activities falling within domains of Hawala /Hundi while the national taskforce will submit monthly report to the PM Office on performance including coordinated actions undertaken and recoveries made.

Power theft

Earlier on Friday, Prime Minister Imran Khan also chaired a meeting to discuss issues related to power sector especially the progress made so far towards country-wide crackdown against power theft and the way forward to curtain losses in the power sector.The meeting was attended by Minister for Power Mr Omar Ayub, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mr Mahmood Khan, Secretary Power Mr Irfan Ali, Home Secretary K-P Ikram Ullah, Head of Energy Task Force Nadeem Babar and other senior officials.While expressing serious concern over the quantum of power theft, the premier stated it was unacceptable to those who regularly pay their dues have to face inconvenience of load-shedding because of the theft by some elements.Subsequently, he directed the K-P CM and power minister to hold a press conference to highlight the issue before the public and garner their support towards government’s crackdown against power theft.Secretary Power Division informed the premier the division in coordination with provincial task-forces is actively carrying forward the campaign against power theft/pilferage in all the provinces. It was decided during the meeting to expedite installation of electricity meters in the areas where electricity was being used through direct connections (kunda-system).

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He also informed the Prime Minister that besides taking strict action against elements involved in power pilferage, action was also being taken against those employees who had facilitated power theft.Minister for Power also briefed the Prime Minister about the progress being made in other parts of the country. He informed PM Imran that due to hectic efforts of the power division, power losses and recovery situation has started witnessing improvement.

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