Junior Minister for Trade and Investment Promotion, Hon. Marlon Penn previously promised that the Bill, which is more than a decade in coming, would have been before the House by summer, but the announcement that the House of Assembly was prorogued voided that promise.
Now that a new House of Assembly has commenced, Premier and Minister for Finance, and Leader of Government business, Hon. Dr. D. Orlando Smith is not making a definitive promise that the Bill will be read this session.
The Premier, under whose purview Trade firmly falls, abstained from making any pledge about the Bill when he was asked last week.
The question of whether the Consumer Protection legislation will be before the House of Assembly during this session was put to Premier Smith during his most recent One on One press briefing that was held on September 4. In response, the Premier did not say much about the delayed legislation. Instead, he stated, “I am working towards that seriously.”
At one of the most recent House of Assembly sittings, Hon. Penn admitted that he has promised many times that the Bill will be passed, and placed on public record that the holdup is from the Attorney General’s Chambers.
Hon. Penn, while speaking in the Other Business section of the House of Assembly on August 14, stated that the Government has already done its part to take the legislation forward.
He announced, “I know Cabinet has made a decision, Hon. Premier, to move ahead with the Consumer Protection legislation. It’s been in the Attorney General’s Chambers now for a few months, and I want to encourage the Attorney General who is sitting with us today, that we need to have that legislation brought forward to bring some type of control, some kind of guidance, and redress to the commerce market of the BVI.”