25 January 2013

Namibia: New IM Bill Ready for Legal Drafters

The Financial Institutions and Markets (FIM) Bill is in the process of being handed over to legal drafters, the Minister of Finance, Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, has said.

The Minister told the Economist this week that expectations are that, the bill, which will consolidate and harmonise laws regulating financial institutions in the country as well as give more bite to the Namibia Financial Institutions Supervisory Authority (Namfisa) in its supervisory and custodian role of the financial services law, will be tabled in Parliament before the end of this calender year.

The Minister added that because of the need to speed up the finalisation of the important bill, it will be sent to legal drafters before a final round of consultations with members of both the lower and upper houses of Parliament have been held as earlier efforts to organise consultation workshops with them have proved difficult because of conflicting schedules.

She said: "We were organising consultation workshops with parliament but it has been difficult to have members of the two houses together so we are now submitting the bill for legal drafting while a parallel consultation process with parliamentarians will be done.

"The good thing about it is there has been prior engagement with the legal drafters on this bill so this version of the bill that we are to submit now incorporates comments that they (members of Parliament) had earlier made during our interactions with them."

The Minister, however, cautioned that the drafting of the new Bill, which has been on the cards since 2010, may take some months as it deals with issues previously covered in close to ten Acts.

"Our wish is to table the bill this calender year, but that will depend on when the legal drafting process will be finalised.

"It may therefore require some time for the legal drafters to finish drafting as it is a very extensive piece of draft legislation," Minister Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said.

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