Asia-Pacific region Current Affairs - 2019

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Pakistan blacklisted by Asia-Pacific Group of FATF

The Asia Pacific Group (APG) of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has put Pakistan in Enhanced Expedited Follow Up List (Blacklist) for its failure to meet its standards. Decision in this regard was taken at FATF APG plenary meeting held in Canberra, Australia.

Reasons for blacklisting: FATF APG has found that Pakistan was non-compliant on 32 of 40 compliance parameters of terror financing and money laundering. On 11 effectiveness parameters of terror financing and money laundering, Pakistan was adjudged as low on 10. Moreover, Pakistan was not able to convince 41-member plenary to upgrade it on any parameter.

About Asia Pacific Group (APG)

It is Financial Action Task Force (FATF)-style regional body for Asia-Pacific region to develop policies to combat money laundering and terror financing. It is inter-governmental organisation founded in 1997 in Bangkok, Thailand.

Members: It consists of 41 member jurisdictions as its members. It also has number of observer jurisdictions and international/regional observer organisations.

Mandate: It is focused on ensuring that its members effectively implement international standards against money laundering, terrorist financing and proliferation financing related to weapons of mass destruction (WMDs).

ADB to provide $200 Million loan for improving road infrastructure in Maharashtra

Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved US $200 million loan for Road Infrastructure Improving project in Maharashtra’s 34 districts for better connecting rural areas with markets and services.  The proceeds of loan from ADB will be used for upgrading roads in rural areas of these districts to all-weather standards for boosting links between local residents and economic centres across the state.

ADB Project for improving road infrastructure

Its total cost is US $296 million, of which State Government will provide US $96 million. It will be implemented by ADB and Maharashtra Rural Road Development Association (MRRDA). It will be completed by end of September 2024. Its major components are developing road safety, road asset management, contract management, and climate resilient design.

Benefits of project: It will help to boost links between local residents, productive agricultural land and economic centers across the state. It will also help in improving farmers’ access to markets, which in turn will help to boost agricultural productivity and incomes of farmers as well as promote investment in agribusiness and agriculture value chain infrastructure.

About Asian Development Bank (ADB)

It is multilateral lending agency and regional development bank. It was established in December 1966 and is headquartered in Manila, Philippines. It envisions inclusive, resilient, prosperous, and sustainable Asia and Pacific and aims towards sustaining efforts to eradicate extreme poverty in region. At present there are 68 member nation of ADB (including India) which includes 49 from Asia-Pacific region and 19 from outside. It is collectively owned by its member and is closely modeled on World Bank (WB). It member countries have similar weighted voting system and votes are distributed in proportion with member’s capital subscriptions to bank.