FATF’s India Visit in November: Unravelling the Why and What Behind It

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In the midst of global headlines, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is making waves as it gears up for a crucial visit to India this November. Often associated with its scrutiny of money laundering cases and historically focused on Pakistan, FATF is now turning its lens towards India. In this article, we will explore the reasons behind FATF’s visit to India, delve into the organization’s history, and provide insights into its core functions.

Decoding FATF: A Quick Overview

The FATF, or the Financial Action Task Force, is an intergovernmental organization headquartered in the vibrant city of Paris, France. Its primary mission is to conceive and advocate policies and standards aimed at combating financial crimes. Established in 1989 at the request of the Group of Seven (G7), FATF was founded to address the mounting concerns related to money laundering, coinciding with the exponential growth of the global economy and international trade.

Evolving with Time: FATF’s Recommendations

The core focus of FATF’s recommendations is to tackle a range of financial crimes, including money laundering and terrorist financing, which pose significant threats to the global financial system. As financial crimes are ever-evolving, with criminals adapting their techniques to evade detection, FATF periodically updates its recommendations to stay one step ahead of emerging challenges.

In 2001, FATF broadened its scope by introducing a set of recommendations that targeted the issue of terrorist financing. The most recent update in 2012 expanded the recommendations even further, encompassing new threats, such as the financing of weapons of mass destruction. Additionally, these updates stressed the importance of transparency and anti-corruption measures.

Membership and Expectations

As of 2021, FATF boasted a membership of 39 countries and organizations, including influential entities like the United Nations and the World Bank. To become a member, a country must meet specific criteria. This includes being strategically significant in terms of factors like population, GDP, and having a well-developed banking and insurance sector. Member countries are also expected to adhere to globally accepted financial standards and actively participate in important international organizations.

Once a country or organization attains membership in FATF, they are obligated to endorse and support the latest FATF recommendations. Moreover, they commit to mutual evaluations, where member nations assess each other’s compliance with FATF standards, fostering collaboration with the organization in developing future recommendations.

FATF’s Scrutiny in India: What to Expect

FATF’s visit to India this November carries significant weight as it revolves around an in-depth examination of Indian laws employed to regulate non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that accept foreign donations. Notable NGOs, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, have come under scrutiny due to these laws.

During its visit, FATF will meticulously assess whether the Indian government applies the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) selectively and discriminatively when overseeing NGOs and think tanks receiving foreign donations. This spotlight underscores FATF’s commitment to ensuring that countries maintain transparency and fairness in their regulation of financial matters, especially when foreign funds are in the equation.

Unveiling FATF’s History:

FATF’s origins trace back to the late 1980s when the G7 recognized the pressing need to address money laundering in the context of a rapidly globalizing world. It was officially founded in 1989, and since then, it has continuously evolved to combat an array of financial crimes and threats to global financial systems.


The FATF’s upcoming visit to India should not be viewed as an immediate cause for concern. However, its timing, occurring on the cusp of impending elections, does give rise to questions. While it’s challenging to make definitive predictions, it is undeniable that this event is set to make significant headlines.

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