“We Have To Convince Them About Our Intentions”

<br><EM>-Surendra Pandey</EM>

Feb. 28, 2011, 5:45 p.m. Published in Magazine Issue: Vol. : 04 No .-17 Feb.25-2011 (Falgun 13,2067)

You received a number of FATF warning letters. Why didn’t the government act upon them on time?
The situation of our country is very different from what the international friends perceive. Our parties and the members of parliament have different priority at the moment. They are largely unaware about the urgency and the warnings of black-listing of their country. The FATF has one priority and we have other problems.

But then the country could be black-listed, isn’t it?
I don’t think they will ever take such a decision. Main thing is we have to convince them about our intentions. I have interacted with the teams of the FATF in the past and I have repeatedly assured them that our intention is clear. We do not intend to become a country that condones money laundering or terror financing. Our problem is only technical. Due to the unique transitional phase we are experiencing, we have not been able to pass laws.

Were they convinced?
It is up to us how to convince them. I feel that many times officials just mislead them. Instead of telling them about our ground realities, the officials simply tell them about difficulties and hindrances. That is not a complete picture. For example, for months I could not even present a budget in the parliament. Even after reaching pact with the opposition, I was physically attacked when I went to the House to present the budget. What could I have done? Such are the laws that till we completed the election of prime minister, not a single bill could enter the House.

So what happens now?
Since a new government has come into existence, I hope that all the outstanding matters will be resolved. The Maoists have also said they will join the government. That will settle a lot of problems. The pending bills can be passed and everything will be okay. But the most important thing I want to reiterate is that the international partners must be convinced that our intention is good. That is what counts in the end.

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