The Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Guyana (FITUG) is of the firm view that the proposed withdrawal rules for the Natural Resource Fund (NRF) are not adequate enough to prevent abuse by those who will be appointed to manage it.
The withdrawal rules for the Fund are outlined in Government’s Green Paper. That document was prepared by the Ministry of Finance.
The Green Paper states that any withdrawal from the Fund would be paid out to the Consolidated Fund and aligned with the national budget. It would then be passed through the National Assembly for approval.
With this in mind, FITUG said, “We are fearful that the monies may not be utilized in the best possible manner, especially recognizing that utilization of the funds can be approved by a simple majority.”
The Federation said it wants the use of the Fund’s resources to be guided by a well-articulated and carefully crafted development strategy which outlines the goals the people of Guyana wish to attain. It said that such a strategy which should involve the views of the Guyanese people should have clear timelines and easily measureable objectives. It believes that such an approach will ensure that Guyana gets optimal returns from the monies earned.
The Federation believes that if the Government is indeed serious about ensuring “…sustainable use of petroleum revenues…” then, it would move to have a national conversation regarding the use of such wealth.
It believes that a failure to seriously consider and act on the aforementioned concerns could lead to further squandermania.
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