By Fareeza Haniff
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Cabinet has approved a US$100,000 [approx. G$20.1M] loan from the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) to the Iwokrama International Centre, citing financial constraints at the centre.
This loan comes just after the GGMC disbursed $3B to the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA), which was met with protest from the political Opposition, stating that it is illegal.
Cabinet Secretary, Dr Roger Luncheon told a post cabinet media briefing on Wednesday, February 04 that the loan to Iwokrama will assist the center in implementing its 2015 financial plan.
He explained that due to “inadequate and untimely” interventions by the international community, the Guyana government has been financially supporting the centre over the years.
“Cabinet’s assessment of the current situation is influenced by the continued lack of necessary financing support being provided to the center by its partners. That has led to government’s decision to extend financial support to the centre,” Dr Luncheon told Reporters.
He reiterated that the centre’s “dire financial” issues will be greatly eased with this loan.
The Iwokrama International Centre (IIC) was established in 1996 under a joint mandate from the Government of Guyana and the Commonwealth Secretariat to manage the Iwokrama forest.
Meanwhile, when asked why the GGMC does not put its earnings in the consolidated fund, Dr Luncheon said that the GGMC is not mandated to do so.
“The statute does not impose an obligation on the GGMC that at the end of a specific period to be transferred to the consolidated fund,” Dr Luncheon clarified.
He further noted that it is at the “absolute discretion” of the administration to transfer funds to the consolidated fund as it relates to the GGMC.