Ashni Singh appointed Senior Minister within Office of the President – in charge of Finance Ministry
- Returns after serving the IMF
President Irfaan Ali on Thursday named Dr Ashni Singh a Senior Minister within the Office of the President with responsibility for the Finance Ministry.
The appointment was announced during an ‘urgent’ briefing with the press at the Office of the President in the presence of all Government and cabinet ministers.
Dr Singh officially took the oath of office Thursday afternoon. Despite naming his Cabinet on August 5, President Ali did not announce a Finance Minister and noted that he was actively in search of someone.
Dr Singh has had a long career in public finance, first as a public servant in the roles of Deputy Auditor General and Director of Budget and then as Minister of Finance for two terms from 2006 to 2015.
After demitting ministerial office in 2015, Dr Singh was recruited by the Fiscal Affairs Department of the International Monetary Fund. At the Fund, Dr Singh worked on a diverse range of countries in Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia, and Europe.
At the time of his departure from the Fund, Dr Singh was coordinating the institution’s technical assistance on public financial management across anglophone Africa, as well as, in selected countries in the Middle East.
On taking up his appointment by President Irfaan Ali on Thursday, Dr Singh now has the rare distinction of being appointed to the finance portfolio by three different presidents, having been appointed in his previous two terms by Presidents Bharrat Jagdeo and Donald Ramotar, successively.
In an invited comment after taking the oath of office, Dr Singh stated that he is greatly honoured and deeply humbled to have been invited by President Ali to join his Cabinet and to return to public service in Guyana, to which he has devoted almost all of his professional life.
He also indicated that he considers this to be a critical juncture in Guyana’s economic history, considering both the opportunities that lie ahead but also the tremendous challenges currently faced, not least as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which is wreaking havoc with economies around the world.