The Senate on Tuesday approved a proposed new law to track the flow of money locally and from abroad and across all areas to combat tax avoidance, with special attention given to the private sector and civil society organisations.

The law also aims to prevent money laundering and the use of finance to “help terrorists organise a colour revolution or conduct terrorism”, Senate spokesman Mam Bun Neang told reporters after the 56 members present in the 62-seat body unanimously passed the motion.

“Not paying taxes is illegal, as is money laundering – whether for the black market or to help terrorists organise a colour revolution or conduct terrorism in our country."

“This law is designed to help with the monitoring and thorough management of cash flows to increase state revenues and help our society,” Bun Neang said.

He said the law would require individuals and private institutions that provide or receive finance from abroad or locally to be registered. It would also allow the Ministries of Finance and Interior and the National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) to monitor all civil society, insurance, pension, real estate and individual transactions.

He said the ministries of Interior and Finance, and the NBC will be authorised to monitor cash transfers into Cambodia from abroad.

A Tuesday Senate press release said the draft law on controlling cash flows would contribute to the development of Cambodia’s financial sector and society as a whole, and improve development partners’ confidence and help gain better trust.

Adhoc spokesperson, Soeung Sen Karuna, said he welcomed the draft law if it was implemented transparently and accurately, but he warned it could affect civil society organisations or those in other sectors that did not have reliable or predictable incomes.

“It will be a good thing if this law is implemented properly and transparently, without focusing on any particular group. [Adhoc’s] cash flows into the bank are orderly, and we have submitted financial statements and activities to the Ministry of Interior annually."

“However, it could affect civil society organisations and those in other sectors that do not have reliable financial resources,” he said.