Pakistan to introduce biometric screening for all national investment schemes

Commercial banks to help with verification process

To stop terror funding through national investment schemes, the government has decided to introduce biometric screening and confirmation for investors.

Pakistanis have invested Rs4,038 billion (Rs4 trillion) in national investment schemes. The Ministry of Finance has vowed to safeguard the interests of the seven million investors.

The government will seek the help of commercial banks for this project through a bidding process. Whichever bank is selected will verify the details of existing and new investors. The UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) is helping with the automation of 153 schemes.

Investors who were informed of this new policy were supportive. They said it will be a pain but it’s a good step that should be supportive. Another investor said the 10 or so minutes it will take for the biometric verification won’t be an issue.

The State Bank will begin the bidding process soon to get the project rolling.

There are 376 government investment schemes in the country and work to automate 223 of them has been completed. The DFID is helping complete the automation process.

These steps are part of Pakistan’s efforts to reduce money laundering and terror financing and get off the FATF’s Black List. The FATF suggested a number of steps for Pakistan to take to improve its ranking and avoid the Black List.


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