President calls for patriotic and unanimous support for CFATF bill -as it is set to be returned to Parliament
Georgetown, GINA, December 5, 2013
The Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Amendment (AML/CFT) Bill, will be re-tabled at the next sitting of the National Assembly, and President Donald Ramotar is calling on all stakeholders to support the bill, noting that it is time to pass the legislation unconditionally because of the possible setbacks that can occur.
“It’s time for us to show maturity…it is so important that I don’t think it should be tied to anything else,” he said, during remarks at the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s dinner and award ceremony last evening. “The consequence of not passing it is difficult to contemplate at this time,” he stated.
In addressing the Alliance for Change’s (AFC) call for the establishment of the Public Procurement Commission (PPC) as a pre-requisite for the party’s support for the bill, he said Government is ready to proceed with the setting up of a PPC, but reiterated that it must have the right of a “No objection” clause.
“Our government as it stands now has given up more authority in that area than any other government in the Caribbean. We are the only Cabinet that does not award contracts, all we do is we have the right to give no objection. It is not a question of not wanting to set it up, but there are many, many reasons to have that. You can’t want to hold me and the Cabinet accountable and don’t give us that authority”.
Guyana stands to face international sanctions following the Political Opposition’s decision not to support the AMLCFT bill. The Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF), of which Guyana is a member, recently blacklisted the nation.
If the Bill is not approved and passed into law by May 2014, Guyana will be referred by CFATF to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) International Cooperation Review Group (ICRG).