The Private Sector Commission (PSC) yesterday called on the government to send the recently passed Tobacco Control Bill 2017 to a select committee of Parliament.
In a statement, the PSC said that it noted the ongoing expressed views on the Tobacco Bill and also appreciates the international obligations that were signed on to by Guyana. The PSC added that it is aware of the reasons for the introduction of the Bill as well as the hazards which it addresses.
It posited that Guyana has, over many years, come a long way in controlling the practice of smoking in public places and the public as well as various operators of bars, hotels, cinemas, other businesses and smokers themselves should be applauded.
“We are aware that the Government of Guyana believes that the World Health Organisation’s Protocols dictate that Government should not engage in dialogue with the tobacco industry. The Private Sector Commission views this as an inconsistency. Ours is an independent jurisdiction called Guyana and most democracies were built on dialogue”, the PSC said.
It asserted that the Select Committee of Parliament is a platform which “belongs to the people of Guyana and we join in the call by the industry to refer the Bill to a Select Committee”.
According to the Standing Orders of Parliament, bills are sent to a select committee prior to passage but not after.