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Sierra Leone News: Parliament approves Pres. Bio’s comments on 2019 Finance Act   

Without wasting much time on debate, Members of Parliament on Thursday 10th January 2019, amended the Bill entitled the Finance Act 2019, to accommodate the comments made by President Julius Maada Bio. Presenting the Bill for possible amendment, the Chair of the Legislative Committee Honourable Daniel Brima Koroma, disclosed this is in accordance with Standing Order Section 58, sub-section 6 and section 106 sub-section 7 of the 1991 Constitution. The leader of opposition Hon. Chernor Bah, expressed optimism that the amendment would be added as the comments made by the President are not controversial in any way. He explained Parliament had enacted the Bill and sent it to the President for his signature. The President returned the Bill with comments and recommendations, which they (Parliament) have also accepted. He said he saw no reason to waste time but to endorse the amendment. The Leader of Government Business and the House, Hon. Sidi Mohamed Tunis, endorsed the statement made by the leader of the Opposition, disclosing they will expunge Section 31 completely from the 2019 Finance Act. In the President’s letter accompanying the Bill, read by Hon. Daniel B. Koroma, the President is concerned that Section 31 does not inject competitiveness into the Insurance Industry and has the propensity to stifle the growth of the Insurance Companies. It further stated, companies should endeavour to create their own comparative advantage and attract clients within a liberalized and business-friendly environment. He suggested Section 31 be reviewed to eliminate monopolies and ensure a level playing field for all companies. Hon. Koroma said the provision does not take away supremacy of Parliament in respect of law making as enshrined in section 105 of the 1991 Constitution, explaining what happened is a way of procedure in accordance with section 106 sub-section 8 that gives Parliament the power to reject the request made by the President. He maintained they, as Parliamentarians, are not averse to the request from the President as it creates a level playing filed for all Insurance Companies in the country.

AMK/10/1/19

By Alhaji Manika Kamara

Friday January 11, 2019.

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