Finance Minister Winston Jordan recently reminded of the Government’s position when it comes
to borrowing against future oil revenues.
At the recent opening of the second national workshop on sustainable funding strategy, Jordan stated that the Government is actually uneasy about borrowing in that regard.
The Finance Minister said that while tempting, as it would provide important resources to finance many critical pipeline projects, “we have to be wary of the volatility of the oil market and our capacity to utilize such resources in a transparent and accountable manner.”
Jordan said that the Government will “continue to assess the situation and weigh carefully our options before any decision, in this regard, is made.”
With these challenges, the Finance Minister said that the workshop which was organized in partnership with the Centre for Latin American Monetary Studies (CEMLA) is opportune, as the Government moves to assess the economy in the context of its debt sustainability, and craft strategies that strike a prudent balance of cost and risk.
Additionally, the economist asserted that the workshop is an opportunity to reinforce the technical capacity of government officials in areas related to sustainable funding strategy.
Out of that exercise, Jordan expressed intentions to have a permanent team in government established that will be able to revise the national strategy, periodically.
He said, “It is my steadfast belief that we should have the capacity to conduct these assessments, annually, so as to maximize ownership of the strategies, track progress made, monitor macroeconomic stability, and foster sustainable growth. This will go a long way towards achieving and sustaining a ‘good life’ for all”.
The Finance Minister had explained that with the help of CEMLA, Guyana has made notable progress in the area of debt management.
He had said that the notable achievements to date include the formulation of a National Sustainable Funding Strategy in 2015, inclusive of a Debt Sustainability Analysis and Public Debt Strategy; a comprehensive Public Debt Management Procedures Manual which has improved and ensured consistent debt management operations whilst reducing operational risk, and the first National Workshop on Debt Management Self-Evaluation and Improvement (DMSAI) in 2016, using the World Bank Debt Management Performance Assessment (DeMPA) Methodology to assess Guyana’s debt management operations, and chart a course for improvement and achievement of international best practices.
The Finance Minister had also stated that these achievements are tangible indications of the Government’s redoubled efforts to ‘raise the bar’ in the management of public finances, including the public debt, in order to heighten transparency and accountability, value for money, and efficient and effective allocation of the nation’s resources. (Kiana Wilburg)
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