There has been much debate about what the government should do with its first US$300M paycheck from the oil sector. Some have suggested that there be cash handouts while others have proposed the idea of free tertiary education.

While these have not been discussed at the level of Cabinet, Finance Minister Winston Jordan recently noted that small businesses can expect support in terms of getting access to more concessions.

At the recently held Linden Business Summit, the economist said, “At the level of Cabinet, we have not discussed any of those or other proposals. What I can say, however, is that the business community, especially small businesses, can expect support both in terms of access to affordable financing, additional concessions, and more tax reforms to stimulate businesses.”

Further to this, Jordan expressed hope that the Linden Chamber of Industry and Development would provide integral input on how it believes Guyana’s newfound wealth can be used.

The Minister reminded that oil resources are exhaustible and oil prices are volatile, hence the need for efficient planning to ensure that the revenues are spent wisely and the economy is insulated from shocks stemming from price volatility. He wants the Chamber to be part of this process too.

In addition to this, Minister Jordan assured that the government has been taking steps to safeguard against the risks stemming from the petroleum sector. In this regard, he reminded that the Natural Resource Fund Act (NRFA) was passed in the National Assembly in January of this year. The minister noted that steps are being taken to put the relevant systems in place to operationalise the Fund.

Minister Jordan also shared that the private sector has a critical role to play in the administration and oversight of the NRF. Among other things, the economist noted that the Act stipulates that representatives from the private sector must be part of the Public Accountability and Oversight Committee and the Macroeconomic Committee.

“I am happy to report that we had received the full support of the immediate past leadership of the Private Sector Commission (PSC). We have written to the PSC to name their two representatives, and we hope that the new leadership will move with alacrity to do so,” expressed Minister Jordan.


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