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House of Representatives meets Friday: a raft of legislation in support of financial action tops agenda

Posted: Thursday, May 18, 2023. 10:43 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: The Government of Belize is rushing to meet deadlines set by the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) to update and add new legislation to better counter money laundering and the prevention of financing of terrorism and other illegal initiatives.

The listed bills for second reading will include The Credit Unions (Amendment) Bill, 2023; The Central Bank of Belize (Amendment) Bill, 2023; The Domestic Banks and Financial Institutions (Amendment) Bill, 2023; The International Banking (Amendment) Bill, 2023; The Moneylenders (Amendment) Bill, 2023; The Money Laundering and Terrorism (Prevention) (Amendment) Bill, 2023; The International Banking (Amendment) Bill, 2023; and The National Payment System (Amendment) Bill, 2023. Broadly, these expand the powers of the Central Bank and associated regulators over various aspects of the banking and finance system and more tightly regulate agencies including credit unions and money lenders.

Other bills returning for second reading are The Law Revision (Amendment) Bill, 2023 to amend the Law Revision Act, Chapter 3 of the Substantive Laws of Belize, Revised Edition 2020; to allow for the publication of an interim revised edition of the laws of Belize; and to provide for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto; and the Special Prosecutor Bill, 2023, to prescribe matters necessary for the appointment and duties of a special prosecutor who has independent status within the scope of a specific case in the investigation of crime and institution of public prosecution, and to provide for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. The second bill is in response to the kerfuffle surrounding the Director of Public Prosecutions and her relation to the accused in the Ramnarace triple murder case reported on New Year’s Eve in Belmopan.

Two motions will also be reviewed. These are the Saudi Fund for Development Tertiary Level Hospital Project in Belmopan Loan Motion, 2023, which will provide for a loan of BZ$90 million for the construction of a hospital allied with the University of Belize in Belmopan; and a Motion for the Establishment of the Women’s Parliamentarian Caucus Standing Committee, 2023, which was deferred from the last meeting.

 

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