Gov’t says GHRA release on Amaila Falls “misleading and nonsensical”

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[www.inewsguyana.com] – Mere hours after the Guyana Human Rights Association (GHRA) sent out a press statement detailing allegations of corruption against the parent company of China Railway First Group (CRFG), the government in a response said that the statement was disingenuous.

GHRA had advised government to review the award of contracts to the Amaila Falls project since CFRG was one of the major contractors, suggesting that the possibility of corruption exists in the project.

But the government in the release noted that the statement was merely a “baseless attack” in an attempt to derail the development of Guyana propelling it into the modern era.

The release noted that the Amaila Falls Hydropower Project has best in class international partners and is being developed according to the highest standards and it will deliver transformative social and economic benefits for the people and economy of Guyana.

It was also stated that the integrity concerns raised by the NGO are based on allegations made for projects taking place in China. The safeguard policies for these projects are very different from the strict IDB safeguard policies followed in the Amaila Falls Project.

“The opposition-aligned NGO’s allegation is largely based on a corruption case in China that involves state-owned China Railway Engineering Corporation (CREC). CREC is a parent company of China Railway Group that is in turn a parent company of China Railway First Group, which is the actual partner on the Amaila Falls Project. The main parent company, CREC, is one of the world’s largest firms and has hundreds of subsidiary firms under its umbrella. Therefore, it’s very misleading and nonsensical to draw such a comparison with the partner company of the Amaila Falls Project” the statement noted.

According to the statement, the GRHA failed to indicate that “the Amaila Falls Project, by virtue of being developed under the governance of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), will adhere to the IDB’s strict and internationally recognised standards.

“As a member of the IDB, the Government of Norway endorses IDB’s policies including its financial and fiduciary safeguards.”