The Green Paper which will outline how the government intends to manage future oil revenues will be tabled in the National Assembly next month.
This was revealed earlier yesterday by Finance Minister, Winston Jordan. The economist noted that the document will be reviewed for a second time by Cabinet on Tuesday. He said too, that the Natural Resource Fund Bill is “finally” with the Attorney General’s Chambers. He said that it is expected to be available for consultations in a matter of weeks.
Jordan said that the Government has sought the help of several international organizations for the Natural Resource Fund Act (NRFA). He said that these include the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the Commonwealth Secretariat.
The economist noted that the proposed legislation specifically addresses two main issues: the stability of the economy to absorb increased government spending and economic activity; and the balance between spending on critical development projects and the long-term goal of saving for future generations. He stated that this is also laid out in the Green Paper.
The Finance Minister said, “The NRFA, which will be laid in Parliament before the end of the year as indicated in Budget 2018, is the culmination of many lessons learnt around the world by resource-rich countries over the past 100 years. Crucially, it directly addresses the transparent handling of, and accounting for, the oil-related funds from depositing in the NRF to their spending which can only be done via the Annual Budget approved by the National Assembly.”
The Guyana Standard understands that the Fund will be managed by the Bank of Guyana and overseen by a committee that encompasses several independent interest groups including a representative nominated by the Leader of the Opposition. Quarterly reports on its activity will be presented to Parliament. The political opposition has since made known its objections to the Central Bank being made manager of the Fund. It believes that the Finance Minister would be able to exert his influence so as to get funds as he desires