Natural Resources Fund Bill passed with minor amendments

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Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan

The government’s Natural Resource Fund Bill 2018 was passed in the National Assembly, last evening, with minor amendments.

This passage follows the presentation of Government’s ‘Green’ paper titled “Managing Future Petroleum Revenues and Establishment of Fiscal Rule and a Sovereign Wealth Fund” to the National Assembly in August last year.

According to the Department of Public Information (DPI), during his presentation, Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan, outlined strict measures in the proposed establishment of the “Public Accountability Oversight Committee” to ensure proper spending and management of resources derived from oil and gas.

“This committee will ensure funds are managed in accordance with best practices,” Jordan was quoted by DPI as saying.

Last year when the minister introduced the Green Paper to the National Assembly, he had indicated that the document was being issued by the government to present preliminary proposals to stimulate discussion.

It also detailed specific issues and pointed out possible courses of action in terms of policy and legislation.

The minister outlined the importance of the committee, which will have 22 members from different sections of society to avoid mismanagement of the national patrimony.

“So important is this committee that representatives will be from communities, women will be represented, members of the bar association, press association, the consumer association, Guyana Extractive industries, private sector and the 10 Regional Democratic Councils,” Minister Jordan stated.

However, even as the government focuses on the development of its new natural resource – oil, the minister says measures will also be put in place to protect the non-oil sector, DPI said.

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