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Deliberations on Foreign Investment Bill 2019 continue in Parliament

Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 26/02/2019

Parliament continued to deliberate on the foreign investment bill 2019 this morning although the whole house committee passed the bill yesterday.

The Speaker Lord Fakafanua directed the chairman of the whole house committee Veivosa Taka to report on their deliberation yesterday.

Vava’u 15 people’s representative Samiu Vaipulu raised concern over the bill and the importance that the house follows its rules and regulation.  He argued that the bill was put to vote while there was no attempt to address the proposal from local businesses.

Vaipulu said the request to set up a committee to oversee matters for their interests, should be chaired by the Minister and related government officials while a representative or representatives of the businesses be part of such a committee.

The Prime Minister Hon Akilisi Pohiva  told the house the bill content is now familiar with the house for it has come a long way and he believes it is clear to put it to vote.

Minister of Labor Tu’i Uata continued to defend his bill by clarifying the reasons why his ministry should always have the authority to make decisions for the good of all   members of the business community in Tonga.

the Minister of Police Mateni Tapueluelu maintained government’s stand on the issue, he told the house they will never support the motion to bring people from outside to do their work because when they were elected by the people, they have a mandate to fulfill people’s expectations.

After prolonged debates on the bill, the Speaker directed that they vote on the individual clauses and so the house voted for clause 8 and was approved.

Later in the afternoon session, the house approved the foreign investment bill and continued to other bills according to the agenda.

© Radio and Television Tonga News