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Pak Parliament passes bill to regulate cooperative societies against terror financing

The Cooperative Societies (Amendment) Bill, 2020 was moved in the National Assembly on Monday by the Adviser to the Prime Minister on Parliamentary Affairs, Babar Awan.

By: PTI | Islamabad | September 15, 2020 5:50:15 pm
India welcomes Afghan- Taliban ceasefireThe National Assembly also adopted motions, seeking to refer two bills related to the tough conditions set by the FATF, which were passed by the lower house but rejected by the upper house last month, to the joint sitting of Parliament for consideration and passage. (Reuters/Representational)

Pakistan’s Parliament has passed a bill aimed at bringing more control and transparency in the registration and regulations of cooperative societies to check terror financing as part of the country’s efforts to escape from being blacklisted by the global money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog.

The Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF) put Pakistan on the grey list in June 2018 and asked Islamabad to implement a plan of action to avoid being blacklisted.

The Cooperative Societies (Amendment) Bill, 2020 was moved in the National Assembly on Monday by the Adviser to the Prime Minister on Parliamentary Affairs, Babar Awan.

The lower house suspended the rules to pass the bill without sending it to the relevant standing committee. The bill will amend the Cooperative Societies Act, 1925.

The National Assembly also adopted motions, seeking to refer two bills related to the tough conditions set by the FATF, which were passed by the lower house but rejected by the upper house last month, to the joint sitting of Parliament for consideration and passage.

The Anti-Money Laundering (Second Amendment) Bill and the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) Waqf Properties Bill, were rejected by Pakistan’s Opposition-dominated Senate last month, jeopardising the government’s efforts to escape from being blacklisted by the global money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog.

The move drew a strong reaction from Prime Minister Imran Khan who accused the Opposition leaders of trying to save their illegal money.

The legislations were part of efforts by Pakistan to move from the FATF’S grey list to the white list.

The FATF put Pakistan on the grey list in June 2018 and asked Islamabad to implement a plan of action by the end of 2019 but the deadline was extended later on due to COVID-19 pandemic.

A joint sitting of both houses is convened if there is difference between the National Assembly and the Senate over a piece of legislation.

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