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Georgetown, Ministry of Finance, July 13, 2022: Senior Finance Minister Dr Ashni Singh announced that Government has made its second draw down from the Natural Resource Fund in accordance with the Natural Resource Fund (NRF) Act 2021.
The Minister indicated that pursuant to Section 16 of the NRF Act 2021, a further US$200 million equivalent to G$41.6 billion has been transferred from the Natural Resource Fund to the Consolidated Fund to finance national development priorities. In May of this year, Government made its first withdrawal of $200 million equivalent to G$41.7 billion. This brings the accumulated withdrawals to date from the NRF to US$400 million, equivalent to G$83.3 billion.
In an invited comment, Shadow Attorney General Roysdale Forde stated that, ” It is not shocking that this Regime continues to bleed our NRF because from the outset that was their sole intention when they purported to repeal the NRF Act of 2019 and replaced it with the abomination which is the NRF act of 2021.
What is of greater concern is the fact that this is the second announced withdrawal but we are yet to hear as a country what national development priorities the first withdrawal was spent on. The people of Guyana deserve to know what specifically the first $41.6 Billion Guyana dollars was spent on and what specifically the next $41.6 Billion would be spent on.”
The Shadow Attorney General went on to state that, “the regime should know that it is under an obvious obligation to the Guyanese people to be transparent and accountable relation to the spending of the monies withdrawn from the NRF. The regime must not simply say to the Guyanese people that it is for national development priorities.
The regime knows full well that there is nothing of tangible significance that one can point to since the regime was installed. The regime’s statement that the money withdrawn from the NRF fund is for national development priorities is a clear and brazen attempt to hoodwink the Guyanese people”
The NRF Act 2021 came into operation on 1st January 2022, and as part of the Budget 2022 process, Parliamentary approval was granted for a total of US$607.6 million to be transferred during fiscal year 2022.