Gov’t rubbishes New York Times article

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Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan said the government is well aware of the challenges posed by the dangers surrounding resource-rich countries.

The minister said extensive research has been conducted on issues of the “pre-source curse where unrealistic expectations ahead of oil production result in demands for higher wages and government spending, and the other two pitfalls — the resource curse and Dutch Disease.”

Minister Jordan was responding to an erroneous article published on July 20, by the New York Times’ Clifford Krauss which described Guyana as a backward nation.

He advised Krauss “to take a closer look at our country, its proud and resourceful people and our resilience in the face of the odds.” The minister also urged Guyanese to “reject the article and to look towards the future with hope in our heritage, in the legacies of our ancestors and in the path that is being crafted for us now.”

The article has received many criticisms from Guyanese at home and abroad.

The Finance Minister explained that in crafting the National Resource Fund (NRF) Act, the government has sought advice from several international institutions, including the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and the Commonwealth Secretariat.

Crucially, he explained, the Act directly addresses the transparent handling of and accounting for oil-related funds – from the depositing in the NRF to the spending of these funds, which can only be done via the Annual Budget approved by the National Assembly.

In the last three years, ExxonMobil has drilled eight gushing discovery wells offshore Guyana, estimated to generate nearly $20Billion in oil revenue annually by the end of the next decade. (Extracted and modified from the Department of Public Information)

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