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India committed to fighting money laundering, terror financing: FM Sitharaman

By Priyanka Verma 
Updated Date

New Delhi: Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday, April 22, reaffirmed India’s commitment to fighting money laundering and terrorist financing and appreciated the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) work in safeguarding the global financial system.

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Speaking at the Paris-based intergovernmental institution’s meeting, Sitharaman said India was committed to providing the necessary resources and support to FATF in its endeavor as a global alliance against money laundering, terrorist financing and financing of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

Sitharaman endorsed the FATF’s strategic priorities for the years 2022-24, during the meeting conducted on the sidelines of the 2022 Spring Meetings of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington DC. The strategic priorities include strengthening the FATF global network, FATF systems of mutual evaluations, enhancing international beneficial ownership transparency, increasing capabilities to more effectively recover criminal assets, leveraging digital transformation, and ensuring sustainable funding for FATF strategic priorities.

“During the meeting, the Finance Minister reaffirmed India’s commitment to fighting Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Proliferation Financing and acknowledged and appreciated FATF on their work on Beneficial Ownership Transparency, Asset Recovery, and the role of FATF Global network in safeguarding the global financial system,“ the ministry of finance said in a release on Friday.

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is an inter-governmental body established in 1989 to combat money laundering, terrorist financing, and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system. It has 39 members so far, including India.

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Sitharaman is in Washington DC to attend Spring Meetings of the IMF and World Bank, G20 finance ministers and central bank governor meetings, and the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) meeting.

FM Sitharaman also met with the heads of large American companies like FedEx, Mastercard, and Accenture and discussed investment opportunities in India, the fastest-growing large economy in the world.

The IMF in its World Economic Outlook report released on Tuesday projected India to grow by 8.2% in 2022-23, the fastest among the major economies.

FedEx president and CEO-elect Raj Subramanian apprised the minister of the significant expansion plans in India including in skilling. He added that the company was looking at R&D centres in India.

During the meeting with Mastercard CEO Michael Miebach, Sitharaman reiterated the government’s commitment to Digital Financial Inclusion with focus on women and small and medium enterprises by developing world-class homegrown technology solutions. “FM Sitharaman enquired from Michael Miebach on how lessons from India’s Financial Inclusion programme can be used to develop solutions for the world,” Ministry of Finance said in a tweet.

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Miebach apprised the minister about the huge data centres it has set up in India and how it was focusing on training and digitisation of small businesses

Deloitte Global CEO Punit Ranjen in a meeting with Sitharaman pointed out that the company was expanding its India operations to smaller cities like Coimbatore and Bhubaneswar. He added that Deloitte has developed tools to improve the access of rural poor to health facilities.

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