[www.inewsguyana.com] – Government members of the Parliamentary Special Select Committee (PSSC) met on Tuesday (October 22) and completed the work of the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AMLCFT) Amendment Bill.
The draft Bill is now ready to be tabled at the next sitting of Parliament for its final reading. However, this work was completed without the attendance of the parliamentary opposition.
During an interview with iNews, Presidential Adviser and Chairperson of the PSSC, Gail Teixeira said that the Opposition did not turn up for the Tuesday meeting, thus the committee proceeded with its work.
Teixeira reiterated that the record will show the rather poor attendance of the Opposition to any of the PSSC meeting on the Bill. However, she noted that the draft report and amendments to the Bill were circulated on July 29 to all the committee members.
No input from Parliamentary Opposition
Meanwhile, the parliamentary opposition is rather upset that the government members on the PSSC completed the work without its input. When contacted, Chief Whip for A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) Amna Ally told iNews that the Party intends to “deal with this when the Bill is on the floor [parliament].”
According to Ally, Teixeira was made aware that the APNU is not available to meet on Tuesdays, since that’s the day when the APNU has its ‘shadow cabinet meeting’.
Additionally, Leader of the Alliance for Change (AFC), Khemraj Ramjattan at his party’s press conference on Wednesday (October 23) admitted that he was not present at the meeting on Tuesday. Ramjattan did not give any reason for his absence.
Guyana has until next month to amend its laws to assure the international community that the country has taken mandatory steps to reduce the possibilities of dirty monies passing through its financial system, via money transfers and otherwise, to finance terrorism. Failure to pass the legislation will see Guyana being blacklisted.