Green Paper on SWF means nothing unless steps taken to introduce draft legislation- PPP GS

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Opposition Leader, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo

The Opposition says the Government’s Green Paper proves nothing unless they take the necessary steps to introduce draft legislation on the Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) which will prepare the country for oil in 2020.

Government’s recent tabling of the Green Paper which sets out guidelines for the establishment of a Sovereign Wealth Fund has not been accepted by the Opposition.

General Secretary of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) and Opposition Leader Dr Bharrat Jagdeo says the main reason for this objection is that the Opposition was expecting draft legislation instead.

He said the time has passed for discussions on the model for the fund, as the Government had adequate time to prepare for this sector for more than three years now.

“Now to be confronted with a discussion paper takes us right back to 2015. And so they failed to fulfill all of their promises of creating a framework for the sovereign wealth fund, so we are back to square one now” Jadgeo reasoned.

Another issues raised by Jagdeo is the model used in the green paper which ignores best practices around the world and dictates that there is minimal political involvement.

Although Government has catered for a representative from the Opposition to sit on the Fund, Jagdeo has already objected to this.

The Green Paper outlines strict fiscal rules for the management of the Fund, with Finance Minister, Winston Jordan playing an integral role in the composition of committees responsible for the Fund’s administration.

“If that will dictate what is in the legislation we will oppose it because it will lead to enormous problems down the road and too much political involvement” the Opposition leader contended.

Government has said they anticipate the proposals would be supported by both sides of the House, given the crucial role the fund would play to Guyana’s development.

Stabilization, savings and domestic development are key objectives of the fund.

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