Benami Legislation Curbing Parallel Economy

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Benami Legislation Curbing Parallel Economy

In a significant move to tackle the burgeoning parallel economy, Pakistan enacted the Pakistan Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act in 2017. This crucial legislative step aimed to establish an effective mechanism and procedure for the confiscation of properties held under the Benami arrangement, while also addressing related matters.

Enforcement Mechanism

 To provide a structured procedural framework for the implementation of this Act, the Federal Government introduced the Benami Transactions Rules in March 2019 through the issuance of SRO 326. These rules have further fortified the process of identifying and curbing instances of Benami property transactions.

Anti-money laundering: Bolstering Financial Integrity

 In September 2007, Pakistan introduced its first independent Anti-Money Laundering (AML) law via the Anti-Money Laundering Ordinance. This landmark development was followed by the introduction of the Anti-Money Laundering Ordinance in 2009 and the Anti-Money Laundering Act in 2010, collectively forming the cornerstone of Pakistan’s AML/CFT regime.

Holistic Regulatory Framework

 The current AML/CFT framework in Pakistan encompasses several key legislations:

The Anti-Money Laundering Act 2010 (AML Act):

The foundational law that addresses various aspects of money laundering and sets the groundwork for counterterrorism prosecutions.

The Anti-Terrorism Act 1997:

Providing the essential legal framework for counterterrorism endeavors within Pakistan.

The Anti-Money Laundering Regulations 2015:

A crucial set of regulations that enhances the effectiveness of AML efforts.

The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (Anti Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism) Regulations 2020:

Applicable to SECP-regulated entities, these regulations ensure stringent AML and CFT compliance.

National Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Financing of Terrorism Authority (NAMLA-CFTA)

Established under the National Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Financing of Terrorism Authority Act, 2023, this body plays a pivotal role in orchestrating AML, CFT, and targeted financial sanctions.


 The legislative measures adopted by Pakistan underscore the nation’s commitment to fortifying its financial systems, curbing illicit practices, and promoting transparency and compliance. These regulations collectively form the bedrock of Pakistan’s endeavor to safeguard its economic integrity and foster a conducive environment for local and international business interactions.

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