The UPA Government has decided to try and get crucial amendments to the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA),2002 passed in the ensuing session of Parliament. Home Minister P Chidambaram said the Cabinet on Wednesday cleared some amendments to the Act.
Once cleared,the amendments would facilitate Indias entry into Financial Action Task Force (FATF),an inter-governmental body whose main role is to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.
While Chidambaram refused to say what the amendments proposed by the Government are,sources said the Government intends to incorporate provisions in the PMLA,2002 to combat financing of terrorism as well as introducing a new category of offences,which have cross-border implications. The Enforcement Directorate,it is learnt,would be given more powers of search and seizure under the amended law.
Ever since he became Home Minister,Chidambaram has been pushing for amendments to the Act as it would help in checking inflow and outflow of funds to foreign terrorists and their overt and covert sympathisers,both within and outside the country. When asked if the Government was sure that it would get the Bill passed in the coming session starting on Thursday,which is going to be largely devoted to get a vote-on-account passed,sources said the Home Minister would try to push for the amendments to be cleared.
But,in case this doesn’t happen,the Government may take the ordinance route, a senior officer said.