India now the 34th member country of the FATF

By SiliconIndia   |   Tuesday, 29 June 2010, 02:12 Hrs   |    8 Comments
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India now the 34th member country of the FATF
New Delhi: India will now have a convenient access to real time exchange of information on money laundering and terror financing as it has become a member of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). India has become the 34th member country and the membership of this country was limited to only 33 countries and two organizations, reports Deepshikha Sikarwar of Economic Times.

An intergovernmental body set up by the G-7 for creating global policies and framework to combat money laundering and terror financing will seem more lucrative for foreign investments and enable easier market access for India's financial institutions in the industrialised world.India has been preparing itself since 2009 to gain this membership. PM Manmohan Singh had urged the need for this membership by taking necessary steps to meet FATF's requirements.

Some of the laws which had been amended or fabricated to suit the guidelines of FATF includes the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), Overseas payment gateways such as Visa and Master, money changers and money transfer service providers, Insider trading and market manipulation, human trafficking, smuggling of migrants, piracy and environmental crimes, over-invoicing and under-invoicing under customs were also made offences under the PMLA. All these are now in the line of FATF's recommendations.

"Becoming a member also brings its own gamut of challenges. These include effective and efficient KYC implementation, coordinated intelligence between various institutions and agencies, etc. We have cleared the evaluation but the road map to success has to be written and walked upon now," said Navita Srikant, an expert on anti-money laundering laws.

India and Korea have observer status in the body but are members of the Asia-Pacific Group, a FATF-style regional body. India became an observer in 2007. The recent expansions include Argentina, Brazil and Mexico joining in 2000, Russia and South Africa in 2003, and China in 2006.

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