Anti-money laundering regulations to be completed this year

Guyana Chronicle
April 2, 2003

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THE completion of regulations to fully implement the Money Laundering (Prevention) Act is among several plans the Government has for improving the financial, institutional and regulatory environment this year.

It will move too to convene consultations with stakeholders in the financial sector, on a recently completed report on the feasibility of implementing a deposit insurance scheme.

And according to Minister of Finance, Mr. Saisnarine Kowlessar in his presentation of the 2003 National Budget on Friday last at the Convention Centre of the Ocean View International Hotel, Liliendaal, East Coast Demerara, actions will also be taken to consolidate and enhance the efficiency and soundness of the financial system.

The minister who announced that the report on the Central Bank's Supervisory Strategy will be completed during the second quarter of the year, said the paper will define and identify measures to strengthen the framework for supervision of both bank and non-bank financial institutions.

It will also help to inform the review of, and subsequent amendments to, the Bank of Guyana and Financial Institutions Acts so as to enable the Central Bank to execute its mandate more effectively and in accordance with best international practices, he said.

In addition to the institutional changes there will be capacity building initiatives at the Bank of Guyana, including the upgrading of supervisory skills and strengthening of procedures.

The Government will too, present to the National Assembly for approval, legislation for an Industrial Development Authority Act, which will be responsible for the development of industry and the development and management of industrial estates, and a Free Zone Act, all aimed at improving the investment climate.

Further, in an effort to promote a fairer trading environment in the country, a legislation on Competition Commission and an E-Commerce Act will be enacted, to govern internet trade, the Finance Minister said.

And with the protection of consumers in mind, Consumer Protection legislation is being developed that will outline, among other things, the rights of consumers, he told the National Assembly.

A policy paper has also been developed to help improve property rights, increase land ownership to the poor, and ensure that transparent criteria are employed in the distribution of house lots, as well as the allocation of state land.

The paper, Kowlessar pointed out, details the steps to be taken, procedures to be followed, and the appeals' mechanism to be utilised in the process.

It also identifies Cabinet, the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CHPA) and the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission, as the entities that would be involved, in the case of land application by overseas investors.

Meanwhile, the Deeds Registry, where the operations are being fully computerised, is expected to facilitate the speedy processing of land title deeds.

The paper to facilitate this move has been tabled in the House for debate and approval, the Finance Minister added.

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