[www.inewsguyana.com] – During the final town hall meeting on the Anti -Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AMLCFT) Amendment Bill, residents of Bartica, Region Seven expressed strong sentiments against the recent proposals made by the A Partnership For National Unity (APNU).
At the meeting on Friday at the St John the Baptist School, Minister within the Ministry of Finance, Juan Edghill and Minister of Legal Affairs provided Barticians with critical details of the bill.
Edghill pointed out to residents how the non-passage of this Bill has already started to affect the country in terms of several road construction projects being stalled.
“Right now there is a shortage of stones for the construction of roads, we have awarded 165 contracts to about 35 contractors…there is no stone and the ready mix company wants to buy stones and he wants to transfer money to St Vincent”.
This, the Minister said is just a start of the trickledown effects the non-passage of this bill would have.
“If Guyana is blacklisted it will affect all Guyanese, all foreign direct investments will be affected, companies which plan to come and companies that are already operating in Guyana will not stay because they w ill have difficulties in their financial transactions,” Minister Edghill said.
Touching on the contentious issue of the recent proposal made by the opposition, which seeks to give Police and Customs Officers the power to stop, search, seize and arrest citizens found with currency totaling $2 M if they have reasonable suspicion, Minister Nandlall said this is a move to criminalise each citizen.
“Why are we going to put that in the law of this country? It is not the law of any country, how can you make money illegal in your country? I have said we live in a cash driven society we don’t have plastic cards…are we going to criminalise our people for the money that they earned?”
Responding to questions from residents about how they can have their say in the passage of the Bill, Minister Nandlall told residents that they can get in touch with their Party representatives or pen letters to their leaders in order to have their voices heard.
The passage of the AMLCFT Bill has been in limbo for more than 10 months with little to no support given by the Opposition. As part of the Government’s effort to get Guyanese involved in the process two other town hall meetings were held in Regions 10 and 6.