Even though Financial Action Task Force (FATF) will be visiting India in April to get an update in issues addressed since its last visit, the country is already considering relaxing related regulations by making compliance and tax infractions that were criminal violations muted into only fineable failings because the country’s finance ministers are seeing the regulations as hindrance to the economic growth of the country. India through a statement from its Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said it was now planning to decriminalize the Income Tax Act and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act so as to boost confidence in business. The 2019 US International Narcotics Control Strategy Report categorized India as a money laundering, drug transit and precursor chemical country. The report acknowledged India’s improvements to its AML requirements but still pointed it is still lacking strictness in identifying and forfeiting ill-gotten assets. Meanwhile, in the anticipated visit of FATF, New Delhi has a host of measures to present before FATF evaluators as giant leaps in the fight against financial crimes. The measures include:
The Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018.
More aggressive seizure of properties and assets.
The rise in registration of financial crime cases
A Hawala crackdown and a push for more extraditions in high-profile cases.