NEW DELHI: The government on Thursday sought to amend the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002 aiming to widen its scope by providing for action against property, equivalent to proceeds of crime, held outside the country.
So far, the government could only proceed against property held within the country.
The amendments made through the Finance Act, 2018 would also take care of certain procedural difficulties faced by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in prosecution of PMLA cases.
The definition of "proceeds of crime" in PMLA was amended in 2015 to include "property equivalent held within the country" in case proceeds of crime is taken out or held "outside the country", an official statement said.
It added that the present amendment would allow the government to proceed against property acquired abroad.
The government had also proposed to include corporate frauds as scheduled offence under PMLA so that Registrar of Companies in suitable cases would be able to report such cases for action by the ED under the PMLA provisions.
"This provision shall strengthen the PMLA with respect to corporate frauds."
The government also sought to make the applicability of bail conditions uniform to all the offences under PMLA, instead of only those offences under the schedule which are liable to imprisonment of more than three years.
"This will be a significant step forward in delinking the proceedings against scheduled offences and money laundering offences under PMLA," it said.
"Section 5(1) of the Act provides that every order of provisional attachment passed by an officer of the ED shall cease to have effect after 180 days from the date of the provisional attachment order, unless confirmed by the adjudicating authority under PMLA within that period.
"The section is proposed to be amended to include the period of stay in this time limit of 180 days and also further period of not more than 30 days to take care of delays if any in communication of judicial orders," it added.