money laundering

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Industries Hammad Azhar told the Senate on Friday that despite resistance from some quarters, the government has strengthened anti-money laundering (AML) laws and this progress will hopefully be noted by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in its next meeting.
Hammad Azhar said the money laundering has now been declared a cognizable offence. He said the present government has shown seriousness to the action plan of the FATF.
He said that the country’s economic growth is projected to be two percent during the current fiscal year despite global recession due to Covid-19. He said that the stimulus package of Rs1,240 billion announced by the government in the wake of the pandemic has provided a necessary shield to different sectors including the SMEs. He said the economic indicators are positive with remittances witnessing twenty percent increase as compared to previous years. He said the FBR is exceeding its revenue targets which manifest increased activity in the industries including automobiles and textiles.
Responding to a question, Hammad Azhar said that efforts are afoot to revive Pakistan Steel Mills. He said, “Our aim is to involve a private party to run the core operations of the mills.”
Responding to a calling attention notice, Minister of State for Parliament Affairs Ali Muhammad said it is the effort of government to ensure availability of quality medicines to the people at reasonable rates. He said the prices of 94 medicines were recently rationalized to ensure their production remains viable for the pharma industry. He said the pharma industry cannot increase the prices of medicines without the approval of the relevant ministry.
The house passed two resolutions expressing profound grief and sorrow over the deaths of former senators Syed Qurban Ali Shah and Hazrat Hameeduddin Sialvi.
Praying for the departed souls, the resolutions said the services of both the senators will long be remembered.
At the outset, the house offered Fateha for the security personnel martyred in recent terror acts in Ormara and Waziristan as well as the religious scholar Maulana Adil who was shot dead in Karachi.
Taking the floor, Opposition Leader Raja Zafar-ul-Haq voiced concerns over ceasefire violations by Indian forces on the Line of Control (LoC) and recent terror acts in the country.
Adviser on Parliamentary Affairs Babar Awan said, “Our forces are giving befitting response to any Indian aggression on the LoC”. He, however, said that India is playing a dangerous game in the region which poses threat not only to regional peace and security but also the world. He said, “We are proud of our security forces that are rendering their lives for the security of the country.”
The house also offered fateha for the first Prime Minister of Pakistan Liaquat Ali Khan who was martyred on this day in 1951.
Responding to the points of PML (N) leader Mushahidullah Khan, Leader of House Shahzad Waseem said the people of Pakistan have elected Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf to power. He said the opposition parties are resorting to politics of agitation for the sake of their vested interests and to protect their plundered amount.
He said the opposition parties can no longer hoodwink the masses.
The house will now meet on Monday at 10:30am. – TLTP