The government, for the time being, has succeeded in buying three more months till October from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) by bringing two ordinances on Mutual Legal Assistance Bill and Extradition Bill that will help fight the flow of dirty money.
"FATF did not change Nepal's current status — 'jurisdiction with a high-level political commitment to address the AML/CFT deficiencies' — but the remaining key Bill Against Organised Crime has to be endorsed by October, when another plenary meets," said chief of Financial Information Unit (FIU) of the central bank Dharmaraj Sapkota.
The government's partial fulfillment of its international commitment has given us time but the third Bill is very important to give legal teeth to the parliament-endorsed UN convention against organised crime and terrorist financing, he said, adding that the country has to continue with its reforms too.
The President had approved the two Anti Money Laundering Bills — Mutual Legal Assistance Bill and Extradition Bill — after the cabinet endorsed them to bring through ordinance as the government led by the UCPN-Maoist and its allies in power have opposed the third Bill that is crucial in fighting the flow of dirty money channeled through drugs, human trafficking and organised crime.
Due to the government's delay in bringing the three Bills in February, the FATF Plenary — that is a decision making body which meets three times a year in February, June and October — had asked the country to bring the Bills by July, though it had extended the time in February due to international lobbying.
The government had long been committing to the FATF to pass the three key Bills in the parliament but after May 27, since there is no parliament, the government has brought only two Bills to escape from being blacklisted — downgrading to the 'high-risk and non-cooperative jurisdictions to which counter-measures apply' along with Iran and North Korea from the current 'jurisdiction with a high-level political commitment to address the AML/CFT deficiencies' — by the inter governmental watchdog of the flow of dirty money that is widely used for financing terrorism.