Key Amendments To India’s Anti-Money Laundering Rules In 2023

Posted On - 28 September, 2023 • By - King Stubb & Kasiva

In a significant move aimed at strengthening India’s efforts to combat money laundering and boost financial transparency, the Ministry of Finance, Government of India, issued a notification on September 4, 2023. This notification introduced crucial amendments to the existing Prevention of Money-Laundering (Maintenance of Records) Rules, 2005, thereby reshaping the country’s financial regulatory landscape. These amendments, encapsulated within the Prevention of Money-Laundering (Maintenance of Records) Second Amendment Rules, 2023 bring about substantial changes that directly impact the role of Principal Officers, client due diligence norms, and reporting requirements for trusts.

The primary changes introduced by these amendments can be summarized as follows:

  • Definition and Responsibilities of a “Principal Officer”: The term “Principal Officer” now denotes an individual who not only holds a designation by a reporting authority but also occupies a management-level position within the organization.
  • Reduction in Threshold: The definition of a beneficial owner, for a partnership firm, includes the natural person(s) who, either individually or collectively, or through one or more legal entities, possess ownership or entitlement to more than fifteen percent of the capital or profits of the partnership. However, the recent amendment reduces the threshold from “fifteen percent” to “ten percent.”
  • Widened Control Definition: The definition of “control” now encompasses not just control through ownership but also control exercised through other means. An additional Explanation, explicitly stating that the definition of “Control” encompasses the right to control management or policy decisions, has been added to the definition.
  • Trustee Disclosure: In the context of a trust, these amendments mandate that trustees must disclose their status at the initiation of an account-based relationship or when engaging in transactions.
  • Enhanced Record-Keeping: The Rules now explicitly necessitate the maintenance of records, which extends beyond mere correspondence to encompass the results of any analyses conducted under the Rules.


In conclusion, the Prevention of Money-Laundering (Maintenance of Records) Second Amendment Rules, 2023, marks a significant step in India’s ongoing battle against money laundering and its commitment to fostering financial integrity. The redefined role of Principal Officers and the more stringent criteria for identifying beneficial owners within partnership firms highlight the government’s resolve to strengthen the supervisory framework governing reporting entities. Additionally, the widened scope of “control” to include means other than direct ownership, coupled with the obligation for trustees to disclose their status within trusts, reflects a comprehensive approach to Anti-Money Laundering (AML) compliance. These amendments align India’s regulatory framework with global AML standards, affirming the nation’s stanch dedication to combatting illicit financial activities.