Draft of national strategy against money laundering endorsed

NL Today

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Kathmandu: The government has prepared a five-year strategy against money laundering.

The first meeting of the Anti-Money Laundering Direction Committee today endorsed the draft of the “National Strategy and Action Plan for Fiscal Investment on Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorist Activities” with amendments. It will come into force once the Council of Ministers endorses it.  

 The meeting held at the Finance Ministry was chaired by Finance Minister Barshaman Pun and attended by its members Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Padam Giri, Chief Secretary Dr Baikuntha Aryal, Nepal Rastra Bank Governor Maha Prasad Adhikari, Attorney General Dinmani Pokhrel, Coordination Committee (under the Direction Committee) coordinator and Secretary at the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers, Leela Gartaula and Directive Committee member secretary and  Revenue Secretary Dr Ram Prasad Ghimire.

The strategy is expected to come into force by the upcoming fiscal year 2081-82 BS (2024-24).

 According to Finance Ministry’s joint secretary and Economic Policy Analysis Division Chief Mahesh Acharya, the strategy emphasizes on economic stability by preventing the nation’s fiscal system and the entire economy from the risk of financial crime.  It aims to discourage corruption, revenue leakage, Hundi and the business of cryptocurrency, drug smuggling, organized crime, internal terrorism, fraud, transactions of fake currency, forgery, terrorist financing, and so on.

It may be noted that following the evaluation of the status of money laundering in Nepal conducted by the Asia Pacific Group (APG) on Money Laundering in coordination with the Financial Action Taskforce (FATF) in 2022, Nepal was advised for legal, policy, and structural reforms to improve its status on the prevention of money laundering. Nepal is a member country to the APG.

Based on the FATF and the APG recommendations, Nepal has already amended the Asset (Money) Laundering Prevention Act.  The APG delegation is arriving in Nepal after some months for the next round of assessment.   The FATF has warned that Nepal could fall into a gray list if it fails to improve its status on money laundering. (RSS)