Opposition squandered opportunities; failed Guyanese – Clinton Urling

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Head of Blue Caps, Clinton Urling.
Head of Blue Caps, Clinton Urling.

 

[www.inewsguyana.com] – Leader of the Social Change Organization – Blue CAPS –and former President of the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), Clinton Urling believes most of culpability for the non – passage of the Anti – Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) Bill should be placed on the shoulders of the combined political opposition.

In a Letter to the Editor this is what Urling had to say:  

 

Dear Editor,

As Parliament fades into an extended period of recess commencing on August 10, there is one colossal elephant in the room that if civil society doesn’t band together and apply some pressure on our political leaders for good sense to prevail, will result in the trampling of our economy and hurt the already shrinking pockets of the average and ordinary Guyanese.

While both government and opposition can be blamed for the more than a year long stalemate in passing the amendment bill to the AML/CFT regime, more of the blame should be placed squarely on the shoulders of the combined opposition benches.

The opposition parties have squandered many opportunities and have failed the Guyanese people thus far in ensuring the passage of this bill.  Editor, please be reminded the combined opposition don’t need the government to pass this legislation!

The opposition would have you believe that they didn’t have enough time to make appropriate contributions to the drafting of the bill, but the truth is that they had more than a year to do so and more recently an offer was made by the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) to provide pro bono services to the parliamentary Select Committee, where the opposition holds a majority, to ensure that any amendments submitted met the rigid international requirements of the international FATF. I’m sure that offer is still on the table and if accepted, the combined opposition can move to the floor of the National Assembly (where again they hold a majority) a fully compliant bill for guaranteed passage.

 

Some commentators have, as of late, been saying that the APNU has nothing much to show for two and half years in parliament. Passing this bill presents a good opportunity for that alliance to accomplish something substantive and that is pro Guyana in nature.

The opposition wants you to believe that the passage of this bill will somehow represent a victory of sorts for the government. Well, the reality is that the citizens of Guyana will be the real victors if the bill is passed and the biggest losers if it isn’t.

If we fail to pass the bill and international counter measures are applied, a whole host of damaging effects will occur which will hurt the small man more that the government or the upper echelon of the private sector.

Just to identify two concomitant consequences of the counter measures: 1.) Increased transaction times and costs at banks, insurance companies and money transfer agencies and 2.) The devaluing of the Guyana dollar as a result of foreign exchange pressures, thus driving up the prices for all imported goods, including fuel and food items.

Moreover, private sector entities will adapt to those realities and will respond by restructuring their operations (which could mean laying off employees) and or passing on the resulting increased costs to the consuming public. This could occur at money transfer agencies and at public entities like Guyana Power and Light (GPL), which would either have to receive increased government subsidies or pass on increased charges for electricity onto consumers.  Similarly, gas stations would have to charge more for fuel for motor vehicles thus sending up the cost for “bus fare” and commuters driving to work daily.

All these consequences will place an undue burden on citizens and are totally preventable, it just requires a caring and rational opposition to pass the bill!

Clinton Urling

Blue CAPS

5 COMMENTS

  1. We are going ass backwards here Emile. You are behaving like Alice in Wonderland. Pass the Bill now and we will talk about later concerns.

  2. This is the smartest and most intelligent statement I have read in a while. So to you Sir. I say continue in your good moral leading and I do hope you will Be one of our future leaders. For it has been too long that all that are involved in our Government both PPP and PNC etc, have been serving themselves and personal agenda they have forgotten it is for the people by the people they are elected to serve.

  3. Sometimes Urling exposes his political naiveté is startling ways. He worries about te financial downside of not having the amended version of the 2009 AML Law passed, without realizing that the CFATF and FATF both are aware of the genuine concerns being raised by the parliamentary opposition, which is that the passage of the law does not necessarily mean the government will enforce it.

    At no time in his letter does he mention government’s failure to ensure its Financial Intelligence Unit make a single money laundering bust, although it was set up after passage of the 2009 AML Law and spent over GY$80M in 2010 and 2011 on one boss and his assistant. Even Jagdeo lamented in 2011 that the FIU did not make a bust in 2010!

    The Jamaica Gleaner reported on April 28 this year that Jamaica’s “Financial Investigations Division (FID), established in 2002, was holding on to property and other assets valued at J$1.23 billion, which it believed were acquired through the ill-gotten wealth of criminals over the last six years. Why doesn’t Urling address Guyana’s failure here rather than waste his goddamn time fighting for passage of a Law the PPP will not respect or enforce?

  4. Mr Urling:
    You have said the truth and the facts speak for itself.
    Mr Granger no doubt may still believe in ‘juk foh juk’ but where the jooking amplifies to a higher level.
    Mr Ramjattan believes in what Mr Granger believes as if he don’t have a brain. We see how he consistently sold out or gave away all AFC votes to APNU.
    AFC is so spiteful that they don’t care for anything in return. It is just vendatta!
    The reason why Nagamootoo lose ‘cutlass and gwana’ and no Speaker’s job, just because he was denied the Presidential nomination.
    So you see Sir, Sooroo and Dooroo are bringing us all down.
    The somewhat blind bats has been given the mandate to lead us all into the ditch.

  5. stop sucking up…admit that you are the new political arm and mouth for pnc and nothing more to yall….most of the times you want ppp to bow to yall..then one one time yall will make it look like yall punching pnc…

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