The National Assembly on Thursday rejected a petition by the Private Sector Commission to encourage the Assembly to pass the Anti Money Laundering and the Countering of Financing of Terrorism Amendment Bill.
The petition was allowed to be laid before the House by Member of Parliament for the Peoples Progressive Party Civic, Manzoor Nadir.
Nadir explained that the Private Sector Commission represents a wide cross-section of the business community and they want the passage of the Bill as a matter of national and economic priority.
The Opposition parties, the Alliance For Change and A Partnership for. National Unity used their majority in the Assembly to vote down the petition being read before the House.
Government Members of Parliament voiced their disapproval over the vote shouting “shame shame” as the Speaker announced that the petition will not be presented before the House.
Before the petition made its way to be up for vote, the Opposition parties raised some concern about whether it should have even been entertained, describing the PSC’s move as a propaganda move.
The Government side rejected that contention and reminded the National Assembly that in the past the House entertained petitions from private groups and organizations. The petition would only find itself being put up for a vote about whether it would be accepted and read and that was rejected.
In the petition which was sent to the media, the PSC reiterated that failure to enact the legislation will result in the blacklisting of Guyana by other countries which will result in severe hardship for the business community and ordinary citizens of Guyana.
The petition also pointed to the repercussions Guyana could face as a result of being black listed, observing that foreign banks could sever ties with local banks and branches.