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Bahamas' PM Sets December Deadline For New Financial Laws

Lisa Ugur, Tax-news.com, London

29 November 2000


Bahamas' Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham has set a deadline of December 31 for both the House of Assembly and the Senate to pass the package of 10 financial services bills which the government expects will radically reform the jurisdiction's financial services industry.

The Prime Minister also disclosed at a meeting of the House of Assembly last week that he expects the raft of financial bills to be passed by December 12, leaving politicians with just two weeks to complete their debate on the new legislation.

Last week, three bills were scheduled for their first reading: the Financial Transactions Reporting Act 2000, the Dangerous Drugs Act 2000 and the Proceeds of Crime Act 2000. Mr Ingraham said: 'The Dangerous Drugs Act 2000 is ready, the Financial Transaction Reporting Act 2000 is ready, the Proceeds of Crime Act 2000 is not quite ready in that while it has been completed, the government has not had an opportunity to peruse it.'

Bahamian MPs have already completed the debate and second reading of the Financial Intelligence Unit Act, the Criminal Justice International Cooperation Act, the Banks and Trust Companies Regulations Act and most recently the Central Bank of the Bahamas Act, leaving six more proposed laws to be legislatively addressed.

Mr Ingraham commented: 'The passage of all these bills is expected to take place during the course of this year and become law before the 31st of December in this year 2000. It is not our intent to pass any of the bills finally into law until all of the bills have been tabled and members have had an opportunity to debate all of the bills and to be able to see themselves how the bills connect one to the other.'

Pending for introduction and debate in the House of Assembly are the International Business Companies Act, the Financial Service Providers Act and amendments to the Bank Act and the Mutual Legal Assistance Act.

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