LS back in business, approves changes in money laundering bill

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LS back in business, approves changes in money laundering bill (PTI) LS back in business, approves changes in money laundering bill (PTI)
SummaryAfter four days of logjam on the FDI issue, Lok Sabha was back in business today.

fill vacancies in the Enforcement Directorate to strengthen it to deal with the menace of blackmoney.

The government plans to induct 1,319 additional officers in the Enforcement Directorate to increase the strength to 2,064.

The treasury benches voted out the provisions in the Amendment Bill regarding appointment of sitting or retired judges of Supreme Court or Chief Justice of High Court as Chairman of the Appellate Tribunal to be set up under the Money Laundering law.

The government is finding it difficult to procure services of senior judges, Chidambaram said explaining the reasons behind voting out the clause which was proposed in the Amendment Bill.

He said the appeal against the decision of the Tribunal would be entertained by the High Court and not directly by the Supreme Court.

The Minister explained that offences under the Customs Act would also be covered by the Money Laundering law.

He said this in response to a question whether over-invoicing or under-invoicing would be a punishable offence under the Money Laundering Act.

The Bill also provides for attachment and confiscation of the proceeds of crime even if there is no conviction so long as it is proved that offence of money laundering has taken place and property in question is involved in money-laundering.

Earlier, initiating the debate, Nishikant Dubey (BJP) sought to attack the Congress and the government on the issue of blackmoney stashed away in Swiss bank accounts.

He claimed that despite the name of a sitting MP from the treasury benches in the list of Indians allegedly having Swiss bank accounts coming out, the government has not made a statement and asked Chidambaram to clarify.

Sanjay Nirupam (Cong) sought to turn the tables on the BJP by demanding that corruption be added in the bill.

In an oblique reference to a top BJP leader, he said a minister may favour a contractor using his position and later himself open a company which may get funds from the same contractor as a return favour.

Those who participated in the discussion included B Mahtab (BJD), Saugata Roy (TMC), Saidul Haque (CPI-M), M Thambidurai (AIADMK) and Raghuva.

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