[www.inewsguyana.com] – The Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment, Robert Persaud today expressed concerns regarding the accuracy of reports in the media regarding his presentation to the Sectoral Committee on Natural Resources on November 27, 2013.
The Minister in a letter to Dr. Rupert Roopnarine, Chairman of the Standing Sector Committee on Natural Resources noted the reports of Wednesday, December 11, 2013 in the Stabroek News – “APNU mulling action against Persaud after mining survey info” and Kaieteur News – “Opposition says Minister lied to Parliamentary Committee.”
Included in the letter were relevant excerpts of the transcript of the Standing Sector Committee on Natural Resources in the Parliament Building which confirmed Minister Persaud did not mislead nor lie to the Committee as is being suggested by APNU executive member, Joseph Harmon.
A record of the transcript was provided by the Parliament Office of Guyana as below:
“Lt. Col. (Ret’d) [Harmon]: Okay. Well I understand that. Thanks Minister. My next question is under this issue of reality of mining. Minister there has recently been some publication in the newspapers about mining licenses, leases issued in the area of the New River Triangle or in the contagious area to the New River Triangle. Would you be in a position to state if in fact mining leases were issued for lands in that area or in those areas and if so what were the considerations for the issue of these leases.
Mr. R. Persaud: As of 11:25 a.m today I am advised by the Manager of the Land Management Administration Section of the GGMC that no mining permit licenses or any permission be given for mining in the area you have outlined. I want to make that categorical. What I do know and I am also be advised by the GGMC is that there have been applications for persons to engage and these applications are not being considered at this point in time until and unless we so have a policy direction of encouraging and allowing mining. The position of the Government at this point in time is not to permit mining in that specific area as you have so highlighted.
Lt. Col. (Ret’d) [Harmon]: Thank you very much Minister. Is there though any permission or anything for any activity other than mining say for example forestry or forestry concessions issued for in that area?
Mr. R. Persaud: I am advised by the technical officer…. I am told by the staff that there is no permitted forestry operation in that particular area.”
The Natural Resources and the Environment Minister stated that “my answers were truthful and were direct responses to the questions posed”.
As such, he called on members of the Standing Sector Committee on Natural Resources and sections of the media to refrain from the false assertions and to retract the misrepresentations carried.
“I do hope that the above information ends the falsehood and misinformation being peddled regarding my presentation. My Ministry remains available for further clarification”, said the Minister.