Friday, March 23, 2012

IMF provides training to curb flow of dirty money

A three-member team from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) provided trainings on anti money laundering to various bank officials.
The central bank invited the IMF team to train bankers to build their supervisory capacity to check money laundering and to provide tools needed to curb money laundering.
The team today also met with the central bank governor and handed a report 'A manual on reforms of central bank's supervisory capacity, inter agency coordination, and cooperation between the IMF and the central bank' on curbing the flow of dirty money.
Governor Dr Yubaraj Khatiwada on the occasion thanked the mission and appraised them of the central bank's supervisory capacity building and reforms it has taken to check money laundering. "The central bank currently has seven departments responsible for money laundering, supervision, regulation and analysis," he said.
The country has already started feeling the heat due to its inability to pass three key Bills — Mutual Legal Assistance Bill, Extradition Bill and Bill Against Organised Crime — which are related to anti-money laundering. US banks have already started asking the central bank to close its account due to 'technical reasons'.
Though the country escaped from being blacklisted by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) — the global anti-money laundering watchdog — at the February 16 meeting in Paris due to international lobbying, the next face-to-face meeting in India will be tough for Nepal as the three Bills are still pending at the Parliament.
After the face-to-face meeting, the FATF plenary will meet on June 18-22 in Rome that will definitely blacklist Nepal, if the three crucial Bills remain pending.Earlier, on February 16, the inter-governmental body's plenary in Paris had blacklisted 15 other countries.
There was a high possibility of Nepal being either downgraded to ‘high-risk zone’ or blacklisted (the public statement) from the current risk zone but international lobbying had saved the country then.
The global anti-money laundering watchdog has extended the time frame for one last time as it had earlier extended the time twice due to Nepal's failure in fulfilling its commitments in preparing laws to fight the flow of dirty money.
Due to the UCPN-Maoist, the country has been failing to fulfill its international commitments, despite repeated pressure and time extensions, even though the government had tabled the Bills in the House on February 13.The government’s failure in fulfilling its international commitments in fighting the flow of dirty money is going to cost the country dearly. Apart from the financial sector, donors too will include more stringent conditions for aid and grants once the country is blacklisted and the country will lose its international market as the cost of exports will rise making Nepal’s exports expensive.
Earlier, Nepal had made a commitment to FATF to approve these Bills coupled with other reforms by December 2011, but the country — passing through a transition phase — has not been able to keep its promise.


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