Failure to pass the anti-money laundering bill will hurt the small man more than the government or upper echelon of the private sector

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-a-half years in parliament. Passing this bill presents a good opportunity for that alliance to accomplish something substantive 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 to 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.

Yours faithfully,

Clinton Urling


Latest in Letters

default placeholder

The Ontario Chapter of the UG Graduates Guild has attempted to provide assistance to the university

Dear Editor, I congratulate Professor Ivelaw Griffith on his appointment as Vice Chancellor of the University of Guyana (UG) and I commend him for the initiatives he has undertaken to bring about improvements at this national institution and wish to highlight the achievements and disappointments/frustrations of the University of Guyana Guild of Graduates, Ontario (UGGGO), the Ontario Chapter of the UG Guild of Graduates, in its attempt to provide assistance to our alma mater.

default placeholder

Tiwarie’s claim of ceasing to support PPP before 2015 election

Dear Editor, Mr Brian Tiwarie said in a letter to the Stabroek News of July 1, that he stopped supporting the People’s Progressive Party one year before the 2015 election (‘Surendra containers held far less than claimed, Specialty Hospital project was mismanaged by Ramotar administration’).

default placeholder

Three encouraging developments

Dear Editor, There were three encouraging developments carried in the media on Wednesday, June 29.  Things would be more encouraging if any or all were to become reality, even partial reality. 

default placeholder

Guyana’s leaders should embrace the highest traditions of the parliamentary system

Dear Editor, Britons voted in a referendum a week ago to break from the European Union. The Prime Minister, David Cameron, led the stay campaign; he lost narrowly.

default placeholder

No delivery of telephone bills

Dear Editor, I normally get my phone bill every month. I would present my phone bill and pay what is indicated thereon.

default placeholder

No need to speak to Dr Thomas

Dear Editor, I wish to use this opportunity to respond to a letter authored by Mr Vishnu Bisram which was published in Stabroek News on Tuesday, June 28, captioned , ‘I have never defended the PPP – only its right to govern.’ In the interest of fair and objective public polemics I am prepared to concede to Mr Bisram that I was wrong in saying that he was an “unapologetic defender of the PPP/C regime during its 23 years in office”. 

default placeholder

The WI selectors are yet to have a clear vision for the team

Dear Editor, Senior team Coach Phil Simmons had argued that he needed someone more technical as his bowling coach. As a result, legendary fast bowler Sir Curtly Ambrose was relieved of that role.

default placeholder

Surendra containers held far less than claimed, Specialty Hospital project was mismanaged by Ramotar administration

Dear Editor, I crave your indulgence in a matter of grave concern to me and of potentially having  damaging effects to me, my family and company that I have worked honestly and hard to build.


About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: