Bill in Lok Sabha to ban WMD funding

What is the News?

The External Affairs Minister (EAM) has introduced the Weapons of Mass Destruction and their Delivery Systems (Prohibition of Unlawful Activities) Amendment Bill,2022.

What is Weapons of Mass Destruction and their Delivery Systems Amendment Bill, 2022?

The Bill amends the Weapons of Mass Destruction and their Delivery Systems (Prohibition of Unlawful Activities) Act,2005.

What was the need for this Bill?

Firstly, the bill was needed as the earlier law of 2005 only banned the manufacture of WMDs and did not cover the financial aspect of WMD delivery systems.

Secondly, the bill was essential to meet India’s international obligations to the United Nations Security Council’s targeted financial sanctions. Also, the recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force have mandated against financing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery system.

Thirdly, with advancements in technologies, new kinds of threats have emerged that were not sufficiently catered for in the existing legislation. These notably include developments in the field of drones or unauthorised work in biomedical labs that could maliciously be used for terrorist activity. Therefore, the Amendment keeps pace with evolving threats.

Key Provisions of the Bill: 

Bans funding of weapons of mass destruction(WMD): It inserts section 12A in the 2005 Act. It says that no person shall finance any activity in relation to weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems, which is prohibited under this Act or under the United Nations (Security Council) Act,1947, or any other relevant Act.

Empowers Centre to Freeze Assets: The Bill empowers the Centre to freeze and seize the financial assets of people involved in the above-mentioned activities of weapons of mass destruction(WMD).

Prohibits any financial support: It also prohibits any person from making funds, financial assets, or economic resources available for the person involved in prohibited activities under this act.

Source: This post is based on the articleBill in Lok Sabha to ban WMD funding published in The Hindu on 6th April 2022.

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