23rd Sitting of the House of Representatives
5th Session - 11th Republican Parliament
Leave of absence was granted to Dr. Surujrattan Rambachan, MP for Tabaquite, from today’s Sitting of the House.
The Speaker of the House reminded members and staff of measures taken during the Sittings to fight against COVID-19. She also indicated further measures that Parliament is taking in these circumstances.
Six papers were laid. See Order Paper for details.
Five urgent questions were posed and answered.
Six questions qualified for oral answer. Questions #45 and #62 were deferred for two weeks.
The Member for Chaguanas East, Mr. Fazal Karim, MP, sought leave of the House to move the adjournment of the House on a definite matter of urgent public importance, namely the Government’s inability to adequately prepare and provide for the continued education of the nation’s students at all levels. The Speaker of the House was not satisfied that this matter qualified under Standing Order 17.
The Member for Oropouche East, Dr. Roodal Moonilal, MP, also sought leave to discuss the matter of the use of institutional and infrastructural capacity in the energy sector to facilitate an illegal gasoline trade with Venezuela. The Speaker of the House was not satisfied that this matter qualified under Standing Order 17.
The Minister of Finance, Hon. Colm Imbert, MP, made a statement on the economic effects and financial response of the Government to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Miscellaneous Amendments Bill, 2020 was introduced in the name of the Attorney General, who moved that the next stage of the Bill be taken on Wednesday April 29, 2020. The motion was approved.
The Leader of the House moved a motion that, during the period of the current global pandemic, Standing Order 45 (1) be suspended and the time limit for speeches in debates be reduced to 20 minutes, with no extensions, except for the mover of and first responder to the motion, who will be granted 30 minutes. With 21 votes for, 15 votes against and 0 abstentions, the motion was carried.
The Minister of National Security, Hon. Stuart Young, MP, moved the second reading of The Administration of Justice (Electronic Monitoring) (Amendment) Bill, 2020. Debate began on the Bill. Following the debate, the Bill was committed to a Committee of the Whole for consideration clause by clause. Amendments were made. The Bill was read a third time and passed.
Dr. Bhoendradatt Tewarie, MP, raised a matter on the adjournment on the need for immediate steps to be taken to address the varied economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Minister of Finance responded.
Dr. Tim Gopeesingh, MP, raised a matter regarding the Government’s lack of preparedness or mismanagement in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. The Minister of Health responded.
The Sitting concluded at 6:07 p.m. The House adjourned to Wednesday April 29, 2020 at 1:30 p.m.