Ramjattan, Gaskin withhold vote on duty-free concessions for FIU employees

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The Coalition Government Monday evening lost its first vote in the National Assembly to the Opposition, Peoples Progressive Party (PPP) after two of its ministers abstained on a motion to grant duty-free concessions to two employees of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU).

The motion, moved by Minister of Social Cohesion, Dr. George Norton on behalf of the Committee of Appointments, was defeated 28 to 26 after Alliance For Change (AFC) Members Dominic Gaskin and KhemrajRamjattan decided to abstain from voting.

The motion sought to grant duty-free concessions for Cylinder Capacity (CC) for the accountant and attorney-at-law of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU).

Minister Norton, who is also the Chairman of the Committee of Appointment, explained that the committee deliberated at its 30th meeting on March 28, 2018, and agreed to offer Surendra LallBoodhoo and YonetteRomaoScarville, duty-free concessions for a vehicle at 2000-CC.

Boodoo and Scarville were appointed accountant and attorney of the FIU in accordance with the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) Act of 2015.

In making the case for the motion’s passage, Dr. Norton stressed that the members of the committee comprised members from both sides of the house, most of whom were present when the decision was made.

The Opposition voted against the motion on the basis that the law did not provide for the concessions.

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