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Cabinet news: People’s Constitutional Commission Bill approved

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Posted: Saturday, June 18, 2022. 8:27 am CST.

By Aaron Humes: At its meeting this week, the Cabinet approved the proposed Peoples’ Constitutional Commission Bill, 2022, to allow for the establishment of the Peoples’ Constitutional Commission, its composition, and other related matters which will be presented to the National Assembly for consideration and approval.

This is the start of consultations on a planned revision of the Belize Constitution, Chapter 4, established in 1981, and the blueprint for the nation-state of Belize, establishing its system of governance, rights, and beliefs including nationality, representation, and justice.

In security news, Cabinet approved a request for funding by the Ministry of National Defence & Border Security to conduct the 2022 Battle Camp for the Belize Defence Force Volunteer Element and the Belize Defence Force Youth Cadet Corps. In addition, Cabinet gave its support for the Belize Security Services to look into the possibility of having their members participate in United Nations Peacekeeping Operations as military observers or staff officers.

In the area of logistics, Cabinet endorsed the establishment of a National Quality Policy (NQP) to provide for cooperation and collaboration across a network of quality infrastructure institutions that serve alongside the Belize Bureau of Standards to protect the interest of consumers. This NQP will also serve to strengthen existing quality infrastructure institutions to improve the competitiveness of Belizean products and services, creating greater integration opportunities in regional and international markets.

And, in an effort to have sanctions lifted against Belize for nonpayment of its mandatory contributions to the Universal Postal Union (UPU), as far back as 2015, Cabinet gave its approval for the Ministry of the Public Utilities, Energy, Logistics, and E-Governance to sign a debt rescheduling agreement with the UPU. This will allow for sanctions to be lifted against the Belize Postal Service thereby making it easier to communicate and transact with postal couriers regionally and internationally.

And finally, in the area of tourism, Cabinet supported a request from the Ministry of Tourism and Diaspora Relations to work with the Attorney General’s Ministry to introduce amendments to the Hotels and Tourist Accommodation Act that would allow for the variation in the rates of tax for different categories of guests for specified periods. Additionally, approval was given to make amendments to the regulations to streamline the existing minimum requirements for hotels and incorporate health and emergency preparedness into the minimum standards.

 

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