President Ali to establish Petroleum Commission; plans to reduce cost of energy by 50%

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Newly elected President Irfaan Ali says his People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Government will establish a Petroleum Commission to ensure that the oil and gas sector is not subjected to undue political interference.

“More importantly, we will ensure that every cent of the revenues from the sector is accounted for, as well as every cent of it that is spent,” Dr Ali told the gathering at his Inauguration ceremony as Guyana’s ninth Executive President, held at the National Cultural Centre Saturday.

He said there must be no doubt in the minds of the people “that our country, our nation, our people are the beneficiaries of the oil and gas industry.”

In this regard, President Ali said the PPP Government will create a Single-Window Clearance System to reduce bureaucracy and the cost of doing business.

“This will make it easier for local and foreign investors to start-up and establish businesses in our economy that is forecast by the World Bank to grow by a whopping 52.8% this year – surpassing all 26 Latin American and Caribbean states.”

He explained that this huge projected growth is “a bounty of our considerable oil and gas finds that promise recoverable petroleum resources estimated at more than 8 billion barrels.”

He acknowledged that the proceeds of this bounty must be managed in a transparent way that will assure the people of Guyana that they will be the beneficiaries in a fair and equitable manner.

“That is why my Government will establish the legal and regulatory foundation upon which a new and modern economy will be built, striking a vital balance between our traditional sectors and the new and emerging industries, including oil and gas, technology and communication.”

According to Dr Ali, to stimulate business enterprises, his Government reduce the cost of energy by 50 per cent through a mix of hydro, gas, solar, and wind, adding more than 400 megawatts of newly installed capacity over the next five years.”

He spoke about programmes and projects that will be implemented immediately to focus on wealth and job creation.

He said high transportation cost will be also be tackled through investments in a deep- water harbour, the Linden to Lethem Road, a high-span bridge across the Demerara River, and other transformational infrastructure projects.

According to Dr Ali, the intention of the PPP is to open-up every part of the country, and to join them up so that new opportunities are created for housing settlements and businesses, and to create and expand tourism and other services industries.

“We want to build a Guyana that is ripe with business opportunities, humming with employment expansion and growing perennially in prosperity.

“To aid all this, we will scale up the provision of internet access across the country empowering businesses and persons.”

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