Anti-laundering bill to miss deadline

There was little progress today in drafting proposed APNU amendments to the anti-money laundering bill which means that it will not be ready for today’s sitting of the National Assembly and will miss a key deadline set by a the Caribbean watchdog, CFATF.
This is what was transmitted at the 11 am meeting today of the select committee of Parliament which has been addressing the bill.
The bill has been the subject of ten months of wrangling between the government and the opposition and non-compliance with the February 28 deadline set by the CFATF could see measures being taken against Guyana, striking at a series of financial transactions.
The committee was slated to meet this morning at 11:00 hrs during which time the government was hoping to complete the committee’s work and send the bill back to the National Assembly. However, a letter from the Chief Parliamentary Counsel, Cecil Dhurjon dashed all such hopes, and, having no work to do, the committee adjourned its meeting in about fifteen minutes.
In a letter to the Committee, Dhurjon said “We have been working on the above Bill – The Anti Money Laundering Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) (Amendment) bill – for the last ninety minutes. Judging from what we have accomplished under no circumstances can we meet the deadline which I wrongly gave to the honourable members of the committee.”
Dhurjon therefore requested additional time to complete the work, although he did not specify how much time would be needed. The committee is slated to meet again next Wednesday.

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