FinMin stresses better regulation of digital payment mechanism

Kathmandu, July 24

Finance Minister Yubaraj Khatiwada has underscored the need for better regulation of digital payment mechanism citing the high risk of frauds as well as money laundering through the abuse of technology.

Addressing the 21st plenary meeting of Asia/Pacific Group (APG) on Money Laundering being held here, Finance Minister Khatiwada urged mutual assistance between all jurisdictions to control such illicit practices.

Citing high risk of money laundering and financing in terrorism through non-banking financial transactions, the finance minister underpinned the need of exchange of information and mutual cooperation to prevent money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism.

Khatiwada expressed commitment in complying with the 40 recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). “The illicit flow of funds and illicit ways of earnings destabilise the economy,” he said. “The government is moving to formalise the shadow economy gradually to prevent illicit practices.”

The parallel economy in the Asia/Pacific region has political patronage, is ambiguous and riddled with corruption.

“If we are unable to curb the parallel economy, it will usher in multiple problems and we will have to divert more expenses, which are supposed to be invested for capital formation and redistribution of growth, towards security in the long run.”

The plenary meeting of APG, participated by around 500 delegates from 42 countries and 10 observer jurisdictions, will conclude on Thursday, according to Jiwan Prakash Sitaula, director general of the Department of Money Laundering Investigation.

There will be mutual evaluation of Nepal by APG in 2020 after 2012. The country has already started conducting self-assessment on the 40 recommendations of FATF.

Nepal has established high-level mechanism called National Coordination Council (NCC) led by secretary of the Ministry of Finance to prevent money laundering activities.

The NCC comprises deputy governor of the central bank, director general of the Money Laundering Investigation Department, joint secretary from the Ministry of Law, and chief of the Central Investigation Bureau of Nepal Police, among others.