Bill introduce to Amend the International Banking Act

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Updated: October 20, 2017

As we mentioned earlier, government also introduced the bill to amend the International Banking Act chapter two-sixty-seven of the substantive laws of Belize. What this aims to do is to make new provisions to allow publicly owned or controlled entities in Belize, in this case Belize Telemedia Limited, to make business with international banks. The Bill was taken through all its stages but not without some opposition from the Leader of the Opposition, John Briceno.

Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister

“We are seeking to expand that category of government controlled entities and the short objective, or the immediate trigger for the amendment is BTL’s need to make a fairly substantial loan to fund the internet to homes program. Initially, I believe, they are seeking to borrow $35 million dollars from Atlantic Bank but not all of it is to come from the domestic pot of funds, there is a small component to come from Atla Bank International in order for that to happen we need to amend the legislation that is the rational and because they want to move very quickly later on I will ask that it be taken through its stages forthwith.”

John Briceno, Opposition Leader

“Madam Speaker I want to put on record once again here the government is changing legislation, claiming again everything is an emergency for this government, stating that they have to ram this through the house in all three readings without giving us an opportunity to study the bill, it does not necessarily mean that we are going ot be against it but we need to understand better what it is that they are trying to do and we need to give an opportunity for it when it goes to the House Committee that the public can also go and ask questions and give their views. See this is what is happening with this right now, everything is an emergency that is why right now we have the whole hustling going on with BIL.”

Laura Tucker-Longsworth – Speaker of the House

“Excuse me.”

John Briceno – Opposition Leader

“No madam speaker millions of millions of dollars being given out illegally.”

Laura Tucker-Longsworth – Speaker of the House

“Your concern Honorable Opposition Leader….

John Briceno – Opposition Leader

This is why this is happening.

Laura Tucker-Longsworth – Speaker of the House

“It is so your remarks have been noted.”

John Briceno – Opposition Leader

“But madam speaker it is important. You need to give us an opportunity that is why we are facing all of what is going on.”

John Briceno – Opposition Leader

“Honorable Opposition Leader you will have another opportunity to address this in depth, kindly allow me to continue the matter.”

John Briceno, Opposition Leader

“I need to address, give us the respect they are not giving us the opportunity to study what it is they are doing.”

John Briceno – Opposition Leader

“Honorable Opposition leader your remarks, very important, have been so noted. Let us proceed. Thank you.”