Friday, 24 July 2009 10:30 AM

Currency Declaration Bill to Reform Economy

The Currency Declaration Bill is an ambitious goal of the CNURA government of reforming the economy in the country.

Speaking during the second reading of the Bill in Parliament Wednesday, the Minister for Finance and Treasury, Snyder Rini, highlighted that the bill is vitally important because it will enable the government to ensure that all Solomon Islanders improve their standard of living.

"We recognize and acknowledge the need to better support and facilitate the protection and development of the financial sector with maximum benefit to Solomon Islands," Minister Rini said.

Mr Rini said simultaneously, the government and the people are committed to build and maintain the county's economic reputation to encourage investment and growth.

"We made these commitments because we recognize and acknowledge very serious challenges ahead of us such as the financial crisis," he said.

Mr Rini adds that the Currency Declaration Bill 2009 will enhance the work that has already been enforced by the Customs, Immigrations and the Financial Intelligence Unit under the currency Money Laundering and proceeds of crimes act.

The Bill will also empower responsible authorities to question travelers and confiscate money or financial instruments from suspected launders. The power for doing this in immigration and customs is not available in the current legislation.

Mr. Rini said the Bill will enhance and strengthen the currency declaration requirement that has already been implemented by Customs and Exercise Division at the entry ports into the country.

This requires all incoming and outgoing passengers to declare in their possession any currency or financial instrument that is more than SBD$50,000 or equivalent in local or foreign currency.

The Bill if enacted into law will assist in ensuring that money launderers do not smuggle hard cash or valuable interms into and out of the country.

Mr. Rini said the Bill will ensure development of stronger anti money laundering and counter terrorist financing regime in the country.


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