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Govt going all-out to comply with FATF action plan, Hafeez Shaikh tells US delegation

ISLAMABAD: A US delegation led by Acting Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs Alice G. Wells called on Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Abdul Hafeez Shaikh in Islamabad on Tuesday.

During the meeting, he briefed the delegation on the government’s measures to ensure economic discipline and implementation of the FATF action plan and the key challenges it has been facing.

The delegation included US treasury officials comprising Scott Rembrandt, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Grant Vickers, David Galbraith and others.

Shaikh emphasised the importance of bilateral engagement with the US and the need to encourage entrepreneurs from the private sector of both countries to enhance trade.

The adviser informed that over the past three months, the government has taken significant steps to bring in financial discipline, including reduction in current account deficit, focus on increasing revenue generation, measures to reduce fiscal expenditures, reduce fiscal borrowings, efforts to enhance foreign exchange reserves through bilateral and multilateral support, and arrangement of petroleum credit facility with Saudi Arabia and the IMF programme.

Further, as part of its institutional development initiative, he said, SBP and FBR are being given resources and powers.

At the same time to support economic growth and facilitate the people below the poverty line, various programmes to support our export oriented industries and health insurance schemes have been introduced, the adviser said.

About implementation of the FATF action plan, the adviser said that the government is putting in all-out efforts to complete the action plan, involving all relevant authorities at the federal and provincial levels.

He expressed the government’s commitment to enhancing the effectiveness of its AML/CFT Framework being undertaken by the government of Pakistan with the objective to ensure that all the actions that are being taken to curb terror financing are irreversible and sustainable.

The adviser urged continued support of the international community for strengthening of the AML/CFT Framework over a longer period of time.

Alice G. Wells, lauding the government’s measures, said the US would continue to remain engaged with Pakistan in its economic reforms efforts and help build an environment that facilitates business development between the two countries.

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