Aug 13, 2008 News
Legislation tabled in relation to effective administrative, operational and legal framework for the conduct of the business of money transfers has been deferred to a special select committee to review and give chances for consultations.
According to Finance Minister, Dr Ashni Singh who requested successfully for the Bill to be deferred to the Select Committee, the move was to further review the proposed piece of legislation and garner support through consultation both with academics and members of the public.
According to the explanatory memorandum accompanying the proposed legislation, the Bill provides that the applications for licences must be submitted to the Bank, which may grant or refuse to grant a licence.
A licensee under the Dealers in Foreign Currency (Licensing) Act 1989 or any related party, holding company subsidiary or other affiliate of the licensee is ineligible for the grant of a licence under this Act.
Another aspect of the legislation states that all expired licenses must be renewed within two weeks of the new year.
The new date for the second reading of the Bill will be determined by the rate at which the select committee completes its review.
POSTPONED SITTING OF NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
Meanwhile, the National Assembly has been postponed to a date yet to be announced, stalling the five new pieces of legislation that were proposed to be discussed.
Leader of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) Robert Corbin had stated that the next sitting of the National Assembly on August 14 would be in contravention of the relevant standing orders dictating parliamentary procedures.
Corbin had written to Speaker of the House Ralph Ramkarran informing him of the party’s position, further advising that the sitting should not be proceeded with.
According to Corbin, Standing Order Nine of the Standing Orders of the National Assembly states “that no Sitting of the National Assembly shall be held from 10th August to 10th October, in any year unless there were special reasons for holding a Sitting”.
Corbin told this newspaper that he was unaware of any special reasons cited. He did note, however, that he was informed by a Government Representative of the desire of its part to take second readings of the five Bills tabled in the National Assembly last Thursday.
The Joint Parliamentary Opposition parties wrote to Prime Minister Samuel Hinds on August 7, 2008 indicating their position that, given the nature of the Bills, they would wish to have the second reading taken after the recess.
This newspaper managed to secure a copy of the document addressed to Hinds which states, “these Bills require in depth analysis, widespread consultation and profound consideration before we could reasonably respond to their thrust, import and intent…
These considerations are compounded by the fact that many members of the Opposition benches will be unavailable to attend any sittings after the 10th day of August 2008…
We consider it unreasonable to be expected to effectively scrutinise and arrive at informed positions on these Bills in such short time, and with already depleted numbers…
We therefore recommend that the five Bills have their Second Reading after the Parliamentary Recess ends in October 2008.”
The letter was made in the context of the fact that the new pieces of legislation were only made available to the opposition on August 7.
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