Aug 11, 2020 News Comments Off on Office of the President takes charge of Natural Resources and Finance
In response to “several queries”, the Office of the President (OP) of President Irfaan Ali said in a brief yesterday that it will retain oversight responsibility for the areas of Finance and Natural Resources.
While President Ali has appointed several ministers to execute duties for the portfolios of Local Government, Public Infrastructure, Education, and Health, he is still to fill the post of Finance Minister, an omission that has prompted significant comment and criticism. In addition to other key responsibilities, the person occupying that portfolio would be responsible in the short term for preparing a national budget, funding government operations to the end of the year; Kaieteur News was made to understand from members of the government that the budget is expected to be presented by early September.
The Ministry of Natural Resources, in contrast, is currently headed by Minister Vickram Bharrat. The minister told Kaieteur News, yesterday, that he is still engaging the senior officers in charge of the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC), the Energy Department, the Guyana Gold Board and the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC). He said that engagements thus far on what he has inherited indicate that there has been significant wastage and abuse which he intends to correct in the coming months. The Minister said that the forestry sector, in particular, needs a great deal of attention as hundreds of workers have not received their July salaries while millions of dollars remain outstanding to utility companies. Minister Bharrat said that these matters have already been brought to the attention of Cabinet and are under review.
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