Given the paramount importance of the Natural Resources Fund (NRF) bill, and its use as a tool for intergenerational wealth transfer of the citizens of Guyana, the Guyana Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) is of the belief that more time should be provided to the public for input and general commentary.
The Chamber of Commerce said that it understands the need for the revision of the Natural Resources Fund as outlined by President Irfaan Ali on December 28, 2021, and commended the government for its effort at attempting to improve public accountability and transparency with respect to the management and operation of the Fund.
Overall, the GCCI said it was pleased with Bill’s general adherence with the international benchmark for Sovereign Wealth Funds, commonly referred to as
the ‘Santiago Principles.’
The Chamber said it will be transmitting to the Minister with responsibility for Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh, by way of letter, detailed commentary on the Natural Resources Fund Bill.
Similar sentiments were expressed by The Private Sector Commission (PSC) through its Subcommittee on Economic and Finance, which concluded its discussions today on the NRF.
The PSC said it noted the removal of the “unbridled” authority that was entrusted in the Minister of Finance in the Act of 2019 and the disaggregation of some of these responsibilities to other authorities and oversight bodies.
The Sub-committee noted that the operationalization of the NRF will provide the much-needed resources which Guyana needs at this critical juncture for its development of National Infrastructure, Healthcare, Education and to mitigate the impending effects of Climate Change.
The PSC also noted the need for more consultation.
“While the PSC believes that wider consultation should have been pursued for feedback and finalization of the legislation, it is evident that the Bill in its current form subscribes in large part to the Santiago Principles, and thus we hereby support the passage of the legislation,” the PSC said.