Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has reaffirmed India’s political commitment to fighting money laundering and terrorist financing as she appreciated the role of FATF global network in safeguarding the global financial system.
Sitharaman said this as she attended the FATF Ministerial Meeting conducted here alongside the 2022 Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank to endorse the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force’s strategic priorities for the years 2022-24.
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is an inter-governmental body established in 1989 to combat money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system. During the meeting, Sitharaman reaffirmed India’s commitment to fighting money laundering, terrorist financing and proliferation financing, the Ministry of Finance said in a statement.
She also acknowledged and appreciated the FATF on their work on beneficial ownership transparency, asset recovery, and the role of FATF Global network in safeguarding the global financial system, it said. The FATF Ministerial Meeting focussed on ministers’ providing strategic direction, by endorsing the FATF’s strategic priorities for the years 2022-24 and reinforcing ministers’ commitment to ensure suitable funding for the delivery of the strategic priorities, the ministry said.
The priorities are strengthening the FATF global network, FATF systems of mutual evaluations, enhancing international beneficial ownership transparency, increasing capabilities to more effectively recover criminal assets, leveraging digital transformation, ensuring sustainable funding for FATF strategic priorities, it said. Sitharaman extended support to the strategic priorities and said that India is committed to provide the necessary resources and support to the FATF in its endeavour as a global alliance against money laundering, terrorist financing and financing of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the ministry said.
The Paris-based FATF has placed Pakistan on its grey list since June 2018 for failing to check money laundering, leading to terror financing, and was given a plan of action to complete it by October 2019. Since then, Pakistan continues to be on the FATF’s list due to its failure to comply with the FATF mandates.
During the meeting, Sitharaman congratulated FATF President Marcus Pleyer for the able guidance and leadership provided through the challenging times of pandemic, it said. The Strategic Priorities for the FATF for 2022-24 are: Strengthen the FATF Global Network, FATF systems of Mutual Evaluations, Enhance International Beneficial Ownership Transparency, Increase Capabilities to more effectively recover Criminal assets, Leverage Digital Transformation, Ensure Sustainable Funding for FATF Strategic priorities, the finance ministry said on Twitter.
Sitharaman arrived in Washington on Monday for the IMF-World Bank Spring Meetings 2022. The FATF currently has 39 members including two regional organisations — the European Commission and Gulf Cooperation Council. India is a member of the FATF consultations and its Asia Pacific Group.