President David Granger yesterday said that all matters regarding the oil and gas industry have been transferred to the newly established Department of Energy (DoE).
The Head of State was speaking to the media on the sidelines of the opening of the 50th Meeting of the Council of Legal Education. The President told journalists that the proposal put forward by economist Dr. Clive Thomas last month, that there be direct cash transfers to citizens from the expected oil and gas revenues, will be discussed by Cabinet if it receives a recommendation from the Department of Energy.
“All matters concerning oil and gas has been transferred to the Department of Energy. The matter has not been discussed and will not be discussed until it receives a recommendation from the Department of Energy,” the President said.
Early last month, while addressing community members in Buxton, East Coast Demerara, Dr. Clive Thomas said the government should consider annual cash transfers of $1Million (US$5,000) to citizens.
President Granger had later said that there was no evidential basis for the suggestion and indicated that the proposal was not made to him by Dr. Thomas. The Head of State had said that the proposal for direct cash transfers falls outside of the recommendations of the Natural Resources Fund.
The recently established Department of Energy falls under the Ministry of the Presidency and will focus primarily on the country’s burgeoning oil and gas sector.
The establishment of the Department follows a proposal by Natural Resources Minister, Raphael Trotman, to have specialized attention placed on the petroleum sector, given the complexity of tasks associated with its administration.