Thursday, December 16, 2010

India Gets Membership of the Eurasian Group on Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (EAG)

India today gained membership of the Eurasian Group which is a Financial Action Task Force (FATF) styled regional body, responsible for enforcing global standards on anti-money laundering (AML) and combating the financing of terrorism (CFT). The decision to apply for the membership was taken by the Finance Minister, Shri. Pranab Mukherjee in December 2010.The support for India's membership was unanimous. The Plenary meeting of the Eurasian Group is currently underway in Moscow. India is the 9th member of the group. The other members are Russia, China, Turkmenistan, Serbia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Belarus and, Kazakhstan. The group also has 16 nations and 15 organizations as observers.

The role of the member nations of the group in achieving AML and CFT goals is of particular significance in the view of their geographical location which is close to the epicentre of terrorism. In addition to playing its own role in fighting terror, India is committed at the highest levels of the Government to adopt, enforce and contribute to international best practices in AML and CFT.

As a nation that has been amongst the first to suffer at the hands of terrorists, India understands the human and financial loss to counties that are in the crosshairs of such groups. India would, therefore, individually and collectively face this challenge. Through this membership, India would learn from the experience of the member nations and also contribute to the collective effort in achieving AML CFT goals. In the process, India would be able to work towards achieving a more transparent stable financial system by ensuring that financial institutions are not vulnerable to infiltration or abuse by organized crime groups.

The Indian delegation to the EAG Plenary was led by Shri. Bimal Julka, Addl. Secretary, DEA. Dr. Thomas Mathew, Joint Secretary, Capital Markets and Shri. A.M. Bajaj, Director, External Markets, were members of the delegation.


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