The Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF), now being referred to as the Natural Resources Fund (NRF), should be monitored and protected by two thirds of the National Assembly, according to Chartered Accountant, Christopher Ram.
Ram made this call earlier today (Friday), at the inaugural Guyana Energy Forum (GEF) organised by the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), at Duke Lodge, Kingston, Georgetown, where he expressed fear that legislation is being adjusted to suit serving Government officials.
“This act, the Natural Resource Fund Act, you pass it one day, you can unpass it the next day. Where is the protection? Where is the guarantee? That not even one seat majority will take all kind of politics that we have in this country, that we’ve had for so very long , whenever they feel like, they change the law,” Ram stated.
It is because of this Ram pointed to the need for the Act to be monitored by Members of the Parliament.
“The Natural Resource Fund should be protected by the majority in the National Assembly, the problem is that you got to change Article 164 to address that and you need a referendum,” Ram put forth.
The ‘Green Paper’ which details the doings of Government with the earnings from, not only the oil industry but several other areas related to natural resources, was released back in August.
The Government said in its Green Paper that it would be an unwise decision to spread the limited expertise and experience in fund management in Guyana across two separate funds.
It added too that the costs of managing two funds would be much higher than those of managing a single fund. As such, the Coalition Administration considers that it is most efficient to have a single fund – namely the Natural Resource Fund.
(More details on the GCCI’s energy forum to be provided later)