The three-day meeting of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has started in Paris in which, among other items on agenda, Pakistan’s removal from grey list will be discussed.

However, a decision is not expected before the final meeting of the current session to be held on October 21.

The meeting (from October 19 to October 21) would be attended by “205 members of the Global Network and observer organisations, including the International Monetary Fund, the United Nations and the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units,” the FATF said in a statement.

“The outcomes of the FATF Plenary will be published on Thursday 21 October, at the close of the meeting,” it said.

The FATF president will address a press briefing on Thursday at 8:30pm Pakistan standard time.

Although Pakistan is being singled out, the FATF meeting has a wide-ranging agenda.

“The FATF will finalise key reports, including the revised guidance on virtual assets and their service providers and discuss next steps to strengthen its standards on transparency of beneficial ownership. Delegates will also discuss the outcomes of the FATF’s survey to identify areas where divergent anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing rules or their implementation cause friction for cross-border payments. FATF is leading work on this aspect of the G20’s priority to improve cross-border payments,” the statement reads.

ACTION PLANS FOR PAKISTAN: In June, the FATF regional partner, the Asia Pacific Group (APG), ruled that Pakistan would continue to remain on the grey list.

Pakistan is being asked to address two action plans: The 27-item original action plan that Pakistan agreed to in June 2018, and an additional 40-item action plan that APG outlined in 2019.

In its June meeting, the APG meeting emphasized compliance with both plans.

Pakistan has already satisfied 26 out of 27 items on the original plan. It has also been declared “compliant” or “largely compliant” on 35 out of 40 items from the APG action plan, according to Minister for Energy Hammad Azhar.

“Pakistan has now joined a select group of countries with [a] high level of compliance,” he said in a statement tweeted in August.

However, a greater level of compliance has not helped Pakistan at the FATF in the past.

The grey list has caused huge economic losses to Pakistan. A research paper published by the Islamabad-based independent think-tank, Tabadlab, says FATF’s decision to retain Pakistan on the grey list has cost $38 billion to the country’s GDP between 2008 and 2019.

THE MEETING: Virtually connected delegates will join those that are able to travel to Paris for three days of meetings, during which they will discuss key issues to strengthen global action against the financial flows that fuel crime and terrorism, the FATF said in a statement on Monday.

The FATF said it will finalise key reports, including the revised guidance on virtual assets and their service providers and discuss steps to strengthen its standards on transparency of beneficial ownership.

Delegates will also discuss the outcomes of the FATF’s survey to identify areas where divergent anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing rules or their implementation cause friction for cross-border payments. FATF is leading work on this aspect of the G20’s priority to improve cross-border payments, it said.

The FATF, which will announce the outcomes of the plenary on October 21, will also update its statements identifying jurisdictions with strategic deficiencies in their measures to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.

The story was filed by the News Desk.
The Desk can be reached at info@thecorrespondent.com.pk.

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