By Fareeza Haniff
[www.inewsguyana.com] – The People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) is still holding a grudge against the political opposition for their non – cooperation in relation to the passage of the Anti – Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (Amendment) Bill.
At a press conference on Monday, March 3, Minister within the Ministry of Finance, Juan Edghill accused the main opposition – A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) and the Alliance For Change (AFC) of political blackmailing.
“Why should a government have to sell its soul, put its people at harm in horse trading just to get a piece of legislation passed? This is not a piece of Legislation that will only affect the government or only affect the PPP supporters…even the APNU supporters will be affected,” Edghill told reporters.
The APNU has proposed three amendments to the Principal Act of the Bill before it is tabled in the National Assembly, while the AFC wants the government to establish the Public Procurement Commission (PPC) before they support the Bill.
“This demand, as if you’re coming from this high moral ground of righteousness that we want this PPC…it’s not only government supporters will feel the squeeze, AFC supporters will, if we are to be sanctioned,” Edghill reminded.
Guyana missed a February 28 deadline of the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF), when it was supposed to submit a report to the regional body on the progress made in passing the legislation.
According to Edghill, Guyana reported to CFATF on the administrative steps the government would have taken.
“More particularly as it relates to the non – legislative work and of course CFATF is aware of the challenges we are having here. Governments around the world are being sanctioned by they are not willing or they have not put in place, mechanisms to ensure that their country is compliant. In Guyana, we have a government that wants to put in place that kind of architecture,” Edghill said.
The Parliamentary Special Select Committee considering the Bill will meet on March 5.