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September 4, 2018

Laws to curb money laundering to be amended

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September 4, 2018

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday presided over two meetings in which it was decided to prevent money laundering and take stern action against the violators while a scheme had been discussed for construction of low-cost/affordable 5 million houses.

Both the meetings took place in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). It has officially been stated that Secretary Commerce and FBR gave a detailed briefing to the prime minister on losses incurred to national economy as a result of money laundering. The meeting decided to make existing laws more effective by bringing in necessary amendments to prevent Hawala and Hundi. A committee was set up to bring required amendments to the existing laws. The committee will be chaired by Attorney General and consist of representatives from Customs, State Bank, FBR and FIA. The committee will present its report to the prime minister within a week.

The prime minister directed the Interior Ministry to present recommendations regarding a robust and organised course of action with regard to administrative steps within a week.

In another meeting, the matters pertaining to construction of low-cost/affordable 5 million houses were discussed. The meeting was attended by Yaqoob Izahar, Najeeb Haroon, Arshad Dad, Secretary Housing & Works Dr Imran Zeb Khan, Secretary Law Justice (R) Abdul Shakoor Paracha and other senior officers. The Prime Minister said that construction of low-cost and affordable 5 million houses is the foremost priority of the government which would not only address housing issues of the people especially in the major cities but would also promote economic growth and create job opportunities.

“Simultaneously, we have to devise a comprehensive mechanism for regulating katchi-abadis and slums without dislocating the poor people and ensuring provision of all civic amenities to the people in those areas,” continued the prime minister.

After a detailed discussion on various international models and road-map for addressing the issue of housing, a committee was constituted by the prime minister under Secretary Housing & Works to devise a comprehensive and coherent plan of action, in consultation with relevant experts and representatives of concerned departments, taking into account all aspects including the legal framework, availability of the land and raising of required resources for smooth implementation of the project. The committee would submit its initial recommendations to the prime minister within one week.

The prime minister emphasised that private sector should be encouraged and maximum facilitation be extended to those who would be partnering with the government in the implementation of ‘5 Million Housing Program’.

National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaisar also called on Prime Minister Imran and briefed him about the steps taken by the NA Secretariat to curtail expense of the Parliament House. The changes in the process of question hour was also discussed by them since the prime minister had desired for certain changes, the sources said.

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