Gregory Bowen, Leader of Government Business in the House of Representatives has disclosed that Parliamentary sessions for members in the House will now be held fortnightly, instead of the traditional once per month. This initiative began in May.
Bowen said this has become necessary because of the increasing number of Bills presented in the Parliament for approval. The Lower House met on 2 May and 16 May. The Senate is scheduled to meet on 23 May. 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.
By Linda Straker