[www.inewsguyana.com] – The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) has defended the current bankrupt state of the PetroCaribe fund stating that any monies in the fund accurately represent the amount of funds that should be in it.
Head of the Presidential Secretariat Joseph Harmon had painted a rather grim picture of Guyana’s PetroCaribe fund, revealing at a press conference on Thursday, June 11 that it is bankrupt and as a result government has to source approximately US$15M to pay rice farmers.
He blamed the bankruptcy on the previous administration [People’s Progressive Party Civic] for the “casual and callous manner” in which they handled the proceeds of the arrangement between Guyana and Venezuela.
However the PPP in a press statement on Friday June 12 said that “contrary to Mr Harmon’s misrepresentation absolutely no money whatsoever is missing from the PetroCaribe Fund, and even if the fund has limited balances in it that does not mean in any way that any money is missing from it.”
According to the PPP detailed records exist and can be made public on every single inflow into the Fund and every single outflow from the Fund.
The Party says that these details will account fully for the operations of the Fund and can withstand any degree of scrutiny.
“Put simply, moneys are deposited into the Fund when Guyana imports oil from Venezuela under the PetroCaribe arrangement. Those moneys are managed by the Bank of Guyana. The moneys are utilised for only two purposes. Firstly, to fund projects that are included in the national budget and submitted to Parliament for approval. Over the years these projects have included the new GPL power plants at Kingston and Vreed en Hoop and the Hope canal. Secondly, and more substantially, the funds are utilised to purchase rice and paddy for export to Venezuela under the Petrocaribe arrangement,” the statement noted.
It was noted too that at any time, the balance available in the Fund is the total of all inflows deposited into the Fund from oil imports, minus sums disbursed on projects, minus sums disbursed to Guyana Rice Development Board for rice and paddy purchases.