Gov’t ‘working hard’ to table oil laws before year-end – Bharrat

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With just over one month left before the end of this year, the government is working assiduously to ensure that much-needed legislation for the nascent oil and gas sector is tabled in the National Assembly.

This is according to the Minister of Natural Resources Vickram Bharrat, who spoke to the News Room on Wednesday.

Guyana started producing oil in December 2019 but crucial pieces of legislation are needed to ensure good management of the new sector. And President Dr. Irfaan Ali has assured citizens that the Local Content legislation and the amendments to the Natural Resources Fund (NRF) Act will both be tabled in the National Assembly before the end of the year.

“I can tell you that we are working hard towards that…we’re working with the President’s timeframe,” Bharrat said on Wednesday.

The Natural Resources Minister could not, however, say when the legislation is expected to be presented to the National Assembly for consideration. He did not wish to disclose what percentage of these new laws were completed.

In addition to crafting these two laws, Bharrat noted that the government is also working to address other concerns within the oil and gas sector. Altogether, efforts are being made to ensure that there is a sound local regulatory framework.

In August, President Ali said that “technical suggestions” were being presented to Attorney General Anil Nandlall, SC before the amendments to the NRF could be finalised. And in October, President Ali said Guyana will receive extensive assistance from experts in Ghana to finalise both pieces of legislation.

The tabling and eventual passage of both pieces of legislation are part of the government’s commitment to ensure transparency and accountability in the use of the country’s oil revenues.

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