NATION

No Show From Public In Lautoka On Eight Bills Consultation

The committee, chaired by Member of Parliament Alvick Maharaj, started in Sigatoka on Tuesday to gather submissions on eight Bills.
15 Jan 2021 15:24
No Show From Public In Lautoka On Eight Bills Consultation
arThe Standing Committee in Lautoka on January 14, 2021. Photo: Nicollette Chambers

No one from the public showed up yesterday to make submissions to the Standing Committee on Justice, Law and Human Rights at the Lautoka City Council’s mayoral chamber.

The committee, chaired by Member of Parliament Alvick Maharaj, started in Sigatoka on Tuesday to gather submissions on eight Bills.

The Bills include the Trademarks Bill, Patents Bill, Designs Bill, National Payment Systems Bill, Investments Bill, Electoral (Amendment) Bill, Electoral (Registration of Voters) (Amendment) Bill and the Political Parties (Registration, Conduct, Funding and Disclosures) (Amendment) Bill.

Mr Maharaj said the committee was mostly focused on the rural areas because they always received a good turnout of people.

“What we have seen in urban centres is a very low turnout and even in Nadi yesterday (Wednesday) and this has been an ongoing trend since I took over as chairperson that is why we are mostly focusing on rural as well, we have a good turnout when we have rural consultations,” he said.

“We had a good session at Sabeto, Nadi, where we had about 30 to 40 people present.”

Written submissions on the National Payment Bill will close by the end of this month.

“For the February sitting we have one Bill on National Payment. And for that particular Bill we will close written submissions by the end of this month so that we can compile the report.

But for others like the amendment on the Elections Bill that is before us and the Trademark Bill that will be in March, going onto April,” he said.

“People have been giving positive views about the fact that the Electoral Commission has actually agreed to the MOG recommendation that were actually given by them and now we are trying to change the Act to see that those recommendations are actually in place come the 2022 Elections.”

Ease on election process

Mr Maharaj said one of the views that came from the voters was the ease of the process.

“The process is so easy now to actually vote and the other thing was the fact that people were coming up with the fact that the booklets don’t contain the symbols and Party name, now the discretion is left to the Supervisor of Elections and Electoral Commission,” he said.

“The other thing that was suggested by the general public was if the booklet can be handed out prior to the election so that they can actually get it before hand and not just on the day of the elections.

“We expect a more detailed submission from political parties with regard to the election.”

The committee will be in Ba today.

Feedback: nicolette.chambers@fijisun.com.fj


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