By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com] – A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) has given due warning of its intention to discard a revised version of its draft amendments to the Anti – Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) Amendment Bill by Attorney General Anil Nandlall.
The Partnership had recently expressed satisfaction with the manner in which its amendments were drafted by the Chief Parliamentary Council (CPC) Cecil Durjohn.
According APNU Parliamentarian Joseph Harmon, the proposals were presented to the Parliamentary Select Committee considering the amendments on Wednesday, March 12 adding that it is founded in law and reality.
He expressed frustration at Legal Affairs Minister Anil Nandlall’s revised version of the CPC work, adding that the document was presented to the committee event before it received the CPC’s work. Harmon said a situation like this should never have obtained where the Minister has access to the CPC’s work before it reaches the committee.
Meanwhile, Harmon pointed out that the next meeting of the committee is set for March 26. He told reporters that the Government is not serious about passing the amendments.
“The Government is taking its own sweet time in bringing the matter to a close… it is the government that is the reason for this sloth, they have no interest in speeding up the process and scaring the population with deadlines,” Opposition Leader David Granger said.
On the contrary the Government had been accusing the Opposition of employing delaying tactics in passing the amendments.
“We do not know if this will come to a close at the next sitting, I can’t give that undertaking, the government seems to be in delay mode… for all we know we may see another red herring at the next meeting.”
On Thursday, March 13 Junior Finance Minister Juan Edghill had claimed that the Opposition was making corrections to Durjohn’s draft and claimed that its members were not sure of what it wanted.
The Opposition had made three major amendments to the AML/CFT Act and maintains that the Bill must be passed with those amendments. The government’s fear is that the opposition amendments could make an Act that is compliant with international regulation noncompliant.
Guyana, having already been blacklisted for its failure to pass the amendments is up for another review by the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) in May.