Islamabad: Financing terrorism would become a criminal offence in Pakistan as the Anti-Money Laundering Bill has been approved, a media report said.
The National Assembly Standing Committee on Finance Tuesday approved the Anti-Money Laundering Bill 2009, declaring `terrorism financing` a criminal offence, Daily Times reported Wednesday.
Finance ministry and State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) officials told the committee that Pakistan required laws in line with international standards to combat money laundering and terrorism financing.
The meeting was, among others, attended by Finance Minister Shaukat Tareen, Finance Secretary Salman Siddique, and other senior officials.
The committee approved a hike in penalty from Rs 1 million to Rs.5 million for a company or its employees found guilty of an offence under the proposed bill.
The committee was informed that the amendments were in line with international standards on combating money laundering and financing of terrorism.
Siddique told the committee that Pakistan had been issued a notice to upgrade the existing anti-money laundering laws before February 2010.
In case of a failure to amend the existing laws, Pakistan would be declared a high-risk country, its letters of credit (LCs) would not be honoured abroad, which would create difficulties for the country`s businessmen, the finance secretary added.