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June 17, 2022: National / International Current Affairs
1. Zero-balance accounts of govt entities to be closed
• The federal government has directed all commercial banks to immediately close accounts of public sector entities with zero balances.
• The directive, communicated through the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), followed a related May 18 memorandum in which the government ordered all ministries, divisions, the governments of four provinces, Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan and their public sector enterprises to immediately surrender their working capital and surplus funds kept for investment into a single treasury account of the federation.
• All these entities, including the registrars of the Supreme Court and high courts, the Senate, the National Assembly and the military accounts, were directed last month by the finance ministry that all notifications since July 2003 enabling such entities to keep surplus funds and working capital in their own accounts had been `withdrawn with immediate effect`.
• `Further, the approval accorded to any public sector entities with respect to maintaining working balance is also hereby withdrawn,` said the May 18 notification
2. FATF talks focus on money laundering, terrorist financing
• The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) completed day three of its plenary session on June 16, 2022 with a discussion focusing on the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing.
• The delegates also discussed a report on how to help the real estate sector tackle illicit finance, the FATF said in a tweet.
• The FATF is a global task force for combating money laundering and terrorist financing.
• The four-day plenary session began in Berlin, Germany, from Tuesday.
• Delegates representing 206 FATF members and observers are attending the plenary session. The observers include the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the United Nations, the World Bank, and the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units
3. Punjab govt spent staggering Rs2.17bn on PSL, home series
• The provincial kitty incurred expenses of more than Rs2.17 billion for providing security cover to the South African, Australian and New Zealand cricket teams as well as for the 7th edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) and some internal security measures.
• Budget documents reveal that Rs330 million were paid for arranging security lights, tower and wires, fuel for generators, transport for law enforcers, security cameras, walk-through gates, tents, chairs, meals and refreshment etc. with respect to the Australia vs Pakistan cricket series at Lahore.
• Under a separate head, at least Rs100 million were consumed for hiring vehicles, fuel, security equipment and logistics arrangements for the same series at Lahore. For similar arrangements for the Rawalpindi test match between the two teams, an amount of Rs50 million was spent
4. Barbs fly in Senate over issuance of election schedule
• The Senate on June 16, 2022 saw the PTI continuing with its policy of targeting the Election Commission of Pakistan, this time over issuance of poll schedule for a Senate seat from Sindh before it was officially notified as vacant by the secretariat of the upper house of parliament.
• PTI leader Azam Khan Swati, while raising the issue, termed the ECP `more loyal than the king` and said that ECP`s act of issuing a schedule for election on a seat that fell vacant owing to death of PPP`s Dr Sikandar Mandhro, was `highly condemnable`.
• He talked about decorum and traditions of the house and said the schedule should have been issued after a notification as per procedure.
• `We must get rid of such an election commission and seek resignation from all of them (CEC and ECP members), he said
5. Not many Afghans entered since US pullout: UNHCR
• The head of UNHCR office in Quetta, Erwin Policar, has said that contrary to expectations of the UN, a large number of Afghan refugees have not come to Pakistan after the withdrawal of US troops and formation of the Taliban government in Afghanistan.
• `The UNHCR was expecting a huge influx of Afghan refugees in Pakistan after the pullout of US troops and establishment of the Taliban government, but it did not happen,` Mr Policar told journalists at the UNHCR office.
• He said most of Afghan refugees now crossing into Pakistan were trying to take refuge in Western countries