PSC backs bill to amend Natural Resource Fund law

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The Liza Destiny floating production storage and offloading (FPSO), Guyana's first oil production vessel

The Private Sector Commission (PSC) is backing the PPP Government’s amendments to the Natural Resource Fund  (NRF) Act of 2019. In a statement issued on Wednesday, the PSC said its Subcommittee on Economic and Finance has concluded discussions on the proposed NRF legislation.

Importantly, the private sector body noted that it has examined and analyzed the merits and demerits of the NRF Act of 2019 and the current proposed Natural Resource Fund Bill which is currently being debated in the National Assembly.

“We note 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 statement reads.

The PSC noted, too, the fact that all monies to be used from the Fund must be transferred to the Consolidated Fund will provide for Parliamentary oversight on the spending of these resources which fosters greater accountability and transparency. 

According to the PSC, “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.”

While the PSC believes that wider consultation should have been pursued for feedback and finalization of the legislation, it said it is evident that the Bill, in its current form, subscribes in large part to the Santiago Principles.

As such, the PSC said, “We hereby support the passage of the legislation. The PSC concludes that the Natural Resources Fund Legislation, when operationalized will provide the resources that will serve as a major catalyst for Guyana’s national development in all sectors leading to unparalleled economic growth.”

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