Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Parliamentarians to meet fortnightly

By Linda Straker

Parliamentarians in the House of Representatives have agreed to meet fortnightly instead of the traditional once per month session in an effort to timely approve the increasing number of Bills.

Gregory Bowen, Leader of Government Business in the House of Representatives, explained that this has become necessary because of the increasing number of Bills presented in the Parliament for approval. The Lower House met on May 2 and May 16. The Senate is scheduled to meet on May 23. Members in the Senate will have to agree to meet fortnightly.

During last Friday’s sitting, six Bills went through first, second and third stages of reading and received the necessary approval. Only two of the five which were down for second and third stages, received approval. Bowen told the House this has become necessary to avoid the lengthy delay and waiting period for Bills to get the consent of the Parliament.

Among the Bills which went through all the stages were: The Grenada Citizenship by Investment (Amendment) 2014 – The Bill seeks to effect some minor amendments to the Grenada Citizenship by Investment Act in an effort to make the implementation of the programme more efficient.

Another was the Income Tax (Amendment) 2014, which provides for persons who are in the accommodation sector to pay 10% VAT on services supplied more than the threshold of EC$120 000 per year.

Also approved was the Terrorism Amendment Bill 2014. The purpose of this amendment is to enhance Grenada’s compliance with the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force recommendations contained in Grenada’s draft follow-up report of November 2013. The Bill provides for immediate freezing of the assets of entities or individuals, and their associates designated as terrorist entities by the Security Council of the United Nations.

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