Legal experts reviewing Telecommunications Bill; draft copy slated for September

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By Jomo Paul

telecommunication[www.inewsguyana.com] – The Telecommunications Bill will not be tabled and passed in the National Assembly before August 24 as was promised by the APNU+AFC administration in its 100 day electioneering plan.

The Liberalization of the Telecommunications sector was one of the pledges made to the Guyanese people by the APNU+AFC in its 100 Days election manifesto.

There has been mounting pressure, mainly from the stakeholders in the private sector, for the passage of new Telecoms Bill which could pave the way for new players to enter the market.

Governance Minister Raphael Trotman on Wednesday August 05, told reporters that a draft copy of the Bill should be presented to Cabinet before the end of September.

According to Trotman, Cabinet has approved a US$15,000 contract for two legal consultants – one local and the other foreign – to fine tune and make whatever adjustments to present an airtight Bill.

The consultants are Attorneys Janice Brenham and Geeta Raghubir.

“They will actually be looking at proposed amendments – amendments had been made by the majority opposition in the tenth parliament,” said Trotman.

The Telecommunications Bill seeks to provide the establishment of a telecommunications agency and a regular, coordinated, open and competitive telecommunications sector and other related matters.

Meanwhile, the other piece of legislation seeks to amend the PUC Act to facilitate the provisions of the Telecommunications Bill.

Both Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company (GT&T) and Digicel Guyana have said that they are awaiting the passage of the Bill to provide additional services and both have critiqued the extensive delays in the passage of the legislation.

 

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