Gov’t starts rolling out legislative agenda

-introduced several Bills to National Assembly

Government on Wednesday, began its legislative agenda introducing several Bills in the 14th sitting of the National Assembly.  The Bills were presented by Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Hon. Mohabir Anil Nandlall SC, to improve the lives of Guyanese.

Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Hon. Mohabir Anil Nandlall, SC

One of those Bills introduced was the Hire Purchase Bill 2020. The Bill will provide protection for people who are buying items on credit in the form of hire purchase.

Presently, someone who purchases an item under a hire purchase agreement only owns the item after making the final payment. This means that the supplier can repossess the item if the consumer fails to make the final payment.

The Bill, which was introduced to the National Assembly, will offer a number of protections to customers before businesses can exercise their right to forfeit the item.

The Law Reform Commission (Amendment) Bill 2020 was also introduced to the House. This Bill will allow a wider range of eligible candidates to be appointed to the Commission. The amendment will see the appointment of persons other than lawyers, including individuals trained in finance, natural and social sciences, and law enforcement. It will also mandate that consultations are undertaken before nominees are appointed.

The Small Business (Amendment) Bill 2020 seeks to expand the criteria that allows an entity to be classified a small business. The amendment seeks to ensure that once a business employs not more than 25 persons; has a gross annual revenue of not more than $60 million, and total business assets of not more than $25 million, it can be classified a small business. Businesses would have to satisfy all three criteria to be so classified.

The Deceased Persons Estates’ Administration (Amendment) Bill 2020 seeks to increase the value for estates from $1,000 to $750,000 for which the Registrar may summarily appoint an administrator where the deceased does not leave a legal will. Under the current Act, letters of administration are not required for small estates where the value does not exceed $1,000.

Additionally, the amendment also seeks to allow, in the absence of letters of administration, a bank manager to pay a claimant from the savings of a deceased person, a sum not exceeding $750,000. The current Act restricts the amount to $1,000 The sum may only be withdrawn where the savings of the deceased does not exceed $750,000.

The Adoption of Children (Amendment) Bill 2020 was also laid before the House and seeks to amend the Adoption of Children Act to bring it in line with Guyana’s international treaty obligations.