Minister of Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh has expressed his displeasure that “confidential information” on the Amaila Falls Hydro Project, which was only provided to the joint opposition political parties, is now being used “opportunistically.”
In a statement issued to the media last evening, Dr. Singh explained that Amaila Falls is being progressed as a public-private partnership, led by the private sector, and that much of the information is commercially sensitive and confidential until the transaction is finalized.
“Since the Opposition voted against the project, confidential information provided only to the Opposition is now being disseminated opportunistically,” the Minister said in his statement.
According to Dr. Singh, it is disappointing to see information that was only provided to the joint Opposition during consultations now making its way into the public domain, since the legislative instruments relating to the project was rejected by the opposition in the National Assembly.
“These documents remain private and confidential as they are the property of a private company which has chosen to work with the Government of Guyana (GoG) and the joint Opposition to see this project to fruition. Such actions will result in major international investors being more cautious in the future about sharing sensitive information with the GoG for fear that it can be made public at any time during negotiations.
If investors cannot trust the leaders of a nation to respect the confidentiality of sensitive information, how can they gain confidence in investing in Guyana?”
Dr. Singh also explained in his statement that the joint Opposition over the last 18 months, failed to raise any follow up questions or presentations regarding the Amaila Falls Hydro Power (AFHP) project.
“We had three technical presentations—first in March 2012, then in March 2013, then in June 2013; we shared the 3 major agreements for the transaction along with the legislation; we had visits to the road; we had the Caribbean Country Director for the IDB meet the Opposition on July 17th; we had the debate on July 18th.”
According to the Finance Minister, despite President Ramotar requesting questions and offering to have its advisors answer questions, the joint Opposition did not raise any or seek answers outside of these discussions.