President promulgates two ordinances on anti-money laundering
KATHMANDU, June 18: President Ram Baran Yadav on Monday promulgated Extradition Ordinance and the Mutual Legal Assistance Ordinance that are necessary to curtail financial crimes like money laundering and terror financing.
The president promulgated the two key ordinances that were endorsed by the Council of Ministers on Sunday in view of national interest and commitment made by the country to the international community, according to a statement issued by the Office of the President.
With the passage of these ordinances, it is hope Nepal will not be blacklisted as a country that does not have adequate legal tools to fight financial crimes during the crucial five-day meeting of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) which started in the Italian capital of Rome on Monday.
The FATF, a global anti-money laundering body, has been asking Nepal to promulgate laws on extradition, mutual legal assistance and control of organized crime that can better regulate illegal acts like money laundering and terror financing.
It was also warned that inability to introduce these laws could have far reaching implications on the country´s financial sector and economy, as leading international banks may refuse to conduct transactions on behalf of Nepal and foreign investors may either shy away from funneling funds into the country or pull their money out.
Until now, instead of focusing on promulgating these laws, Nepal was resorting to intense lobbying and using political transition as an excuse to avoid being blacklisted.
“However, this time diplomatic agencies have said Nepal won´t be able to escape if it attends the meeting without three ordinances,” Finance Minister Barsha Man Pun had earlier told journalists.
Nepal has now promulgated two ordinances. But it is still short of one law - the ordinance on control of organized crime - as some of the contentious issues in the bill could not be discussed due to lack of legislative body, which was dissolved on May 27.