Opposition Leader and leader of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP), Bharrat Jagdeo has indicated that his party will not honour any of the invites extended to it for consultations relating to oil and gas.
This is Jagdeo’s position even after he had been steadily saying that the PPP plans to treat oil and gas as apolitical.
When Kaieteur News reminded of this stance and his commitment to help government make the right decisions to shape Guyana’s future as an oil and gas producing nation, Jagdeo said, “This is very different.”
“The seminars and these things are very different to the institutions that we are trying to create to manage the sector. So, we are trying to create a petroleum commission that does not have partisan and is free from politicians. We have given our position already. We do not need to go to another seminar to say that we want an impartial petroleum commission.”
Jagdeo said that the PPP’s position is known on other similar matters.
“We said remove the Minister’s involvement. We argued for a clear definition between the Energy Department and the petroleum commission. I do not need to go to a seminar to say this. We are trying to create a good institution, not go to another seminar to gaff; we have already taken our position,” said Jagdeo.
He said that the PPP’s position on Sovereign Wealth Fund is also known and documented.
“We believe that the Natural Resource Fund managed by the Central Bank will fall under the Minister, the macro-economic committee will fall under the Minister and so will the investment committee.
Jagdeo said that such a design, as proposed in the Green Paper on the Fund, which Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan presented to the National Assembly, is recipe for too much political control, which will lead to disaster for Guyana.
“We know there will be too much political involvement so we will like to see a model that keeps this at arm’s length and we have defined what we would like to see and the principle.”
Jagdeo stressed that the powers that be are fully aware of the concerns of the Opposition.
He said that consultations such as the one organized by Conservation International is “just a road show”.
Further, Jagdeo said that Conservation International has no business organizing consultations. “It’s like the local branch of Conservation International is an arm of government”
Jagdeo noted that the invitation for the consultation held last week was sent to PPP Members of Parliament by Conservation International. He said that this is “disrespectful”.
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