PPP would create new legislation to manage oil money

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Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo says the Natural Resources Act 2019 which was passed in the National Assembly in January to manage to the country’s oil money is illegal.

If elected to office at the March 2, 2020 polls, Jagdeo says a People’s Progressive Party (PPP) government will repeal this Act and put in place new legislation which will be free from any political authority.

“We made it clear, we are going to repeal this act and then re-enact a proper Sovereign Wealth Fund that has appropriate safeguards and that will keep the management of the Sovereign Wealth Fund at arm’s length from political authority,” Jagdeo said at his weekly news conference on Thursday at his Church Street, Georgetown office.

The Opposition Leader pointed out that the Act was passed in the National Assembly after the No-Confidence Motion was validly passed against the coalition government.

“The National Resources Fund is a Fund that is created from a legislation that is illegal as far as we’re concerned so I don’t know what is the big hullabaloo about this whole issue.

“It was passed after the No-Confidence Motion was validly passed in the National Assembly. So the Government had fallen when this Bill was passed,” Jagdeo said.

On Wednesday, the Bank of Guyana – headed by Dr Gobind Ganga – signed an agreement with the Ministry of Finance to operationalise the Natural Resources Fund ahead of first oil this month.

The Memorandum of Understanding deals with the effective day to day management of the fund.

But Jagdeo believes that this is public relations stunt by the Government.

“This Gobind Ganga, if he gets a call from the Minister, he runs over to the Ministry. The Central Bank reports to the Minister. How much independence do you have here when Gobind Ganga, a big show is made about this pact that they signed now…to manage the fund? It’s all a show,” the Opposition Leader said.

Jagdeo said the PPP envisions a Sovereign Wealth Fund that will be managed more technically rather than politically.

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