General

Gov’t, a committed partner in the cause of advancing renewable energy resources – says Finance Minister

– ‘Solar energy playing an important role in achieving energy inclusivity’

-30,000 off-the grid households to soon be electrified with solar through GOG/EXIM Bank project

Georgetown, Ministry of Finance, August 5, 2022: During his remarks at the Fourth Regional Committee Meeting for the Latin America and Caribbean Region of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) today held at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC), Senior Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh pointed out that the Government remains strongly committed to advancing the national energy transition agenda including through promoting the use of renewable sources of energy, including solar energy. He said that solar energy is playing an important role in achieving energy inclusivity, particularly through the deployment of solar solutions in hinterland and remote communities.

The Minister reminded those at the meeting that Guyana has an off-the-grid population with these persons residing in hinterland and outlying areas. As such, he posited that ‘with the support of the Indian Exim (Export-Import) Bank, we have already concluded a project to procure and deploy 30,000 household solar units to bring solar electricity to 30,000 homes’.

Dr. Singh said further, ”Even though our energy transition might not comprise solar as the bulk producer to the grid, solar energy is playing a tremendous role in achieving energy inclusivity because even though it is at a small level, at the community level, from that one project, 30,000 households which did not have electricity will now have electricity. They were too far away from the grid to be able to connect but 30,000 households are now going to get electricity for the first time ever and similar solutions can be deployed for other remote areas.”

Minister Singh re-emphasized that Government is open to exploring various renewable energy resources and he also outlined its commitment and focus on ensuring that the administration achieves all of its goals in relation to its Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) as contained in its Manifesto.

Key to Guyana’s Low Carbon Development agenda is clean energy. Government intends to utilize its access to low carbon development energy resources (Solar, Hydro, Wind, Biomass and Natural Gas) as a means of decoupling its economic growth from using fossil fuels for electricity. This will ensure that the rising demand is met and greenhouse gas emissions are kept low.

Minister Singh hands over essential supplies to Regional Health Department in Region Six under the auspices of BNTF

-reminds of Government’s commitment to ensure Guyanese receive quality health services throughout the Regions

Georgetown, Ministry of Finance, August 3, 2022: Senior Minister in the Office of the President with Responsibility for Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh, while in Region Six today, handed over to the Regional Health Department a quantity of cleaning and sanitizing supplies to be distributed to various health institutions in the East Berbice/Corentyne Region. The Minister was visiting the Region to spearhead Government’s ‘Because We Care’ cash grant initiative at the J.C. Chandisingh Secondary School and stopped at the Health Department to hand over the essential supplies on behalf of the Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF), a sub agency of the Ministry of Finance which receives financial support from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB). Prior to handing over the supplies, the Minister also took the opportunity to remind health officials that they all play an important role in ensuring that quality health care is provided to citizens.

Minister Singh alluded to the recent sod-turning ceremony on Saturday last for a new maternal and paediatric care hospital being constructed by Government and also emphasized to those in attendance that Government wants to ensure that all mothers, expectant mothers and newborn infants enjoy quality and modern health care. He added that Government is also committed to constructing six new modern Regional Hospitals with one to be constructed in Region Six, as well as more health centres countrywide including a new one soon to be completed at Fort Ordinance.

“In addition to this, recognizing the unique geography of Guyana, we want to make sure also that we deliver quality health care even to remote communities, including hinterland communities and small Amerindian village, and we are going to be developing four telemedicine centres so that we can use the expertise that is located at the major centres like Georgetown, New Amsterdam and elsewhere and deploy that expertise to the benefit of remote communities as well,” Dr. Singh explained.

‘Whatever job you do, you are providing a critical service to a large population base and you are providing that service to people at a time when they are most vulnerable,” the Senior Finance Minister concluded as he urged that health officials in the Region ensure that they deliver quality care to patients in a ‘sensitive, attentive and compassionate manner’ while Government will continue to ensure that they are provided with the infrastructure and all the essential health supplies to carry out this service.

In excess of $700 Million in grants to be disbursed in Region Six-Finance Minister says while spearheading ‘Because We Care” cash grant distribution at J.C. Chandisingh Secondary School

Georgetown, Ministry of Finance, August 3, 2022: As Government continued its second day of roll out of its ‘Because We Care’ cash grant today, Senior Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh while addressing parents and students at the J.C. Chandisingh Secondary School in Berbice, said Government will be expending in excess of $700 Million in cash grants to Region Six (East Berbice/Corentyne).

“I don’t want you to view this cash grant as an isolated initiative,” the Minister explained as he noted that it represents a much larger policy initiative being implemented by Government. We will ensure adequate access and we are building out enough infrastructure. I know that you have a high level of trained teachers already in Region Six. but you are not at 100 percent. Our objective is to achieve 100 % trained teacher status. Thirdly, we are committed to ensure that all schools are equipped to deliver quality education,” Dr. Singh added.

The Senior Finance Minister posited that Guyana is currently undergoing dramatic changes with its economy being among the fastest growing in the world. He also told parents that, as such, with all the opportunities being made available, their children face the brightest prospects over prior generations in the history of Guyana.

“Every parent wants their children to enjoy a life that is better than the life they(the parents) had. We all have an interest in ensuring that our children have a good education. It will not only have an impact on the children, but also your entire families, the community in which you live and the country as a whole,” Dr. Singh concluded.

The Finance Minister, during his visit to Region Six, was accompanied by Regional Chairman David Armogan and acting Regional Executive Officer, Mary Samaroo.

More than 23,000 students across East Berbice Corentyne are expected to receive the grant which started in New Amsterdam on Tuesday, on the Lower Corentyne today, and Upper Corentyne on Thursday. A total of over $719M is expected to be distributed in that Region.

Meanwhile, while in the Region, Minister Singh also visited the Port Mourant and Cropper Primary Schools where he checked on the status of the ‘Because We Care’ cash grant distribution and interacted with teachers and parents at those schools.

 

Finance Minister hands over more than $75M in equipment and materials to the Ministry of Agriculture under the auspices of GOG/CDB’s Basic Needs Trust Fund

-as Government moves aggressively to roll out President Ali’s agriculture and food security initiative

Georgetown, Ministry of Finance, July 27, 2022: During a simple hand-over ceremony in the Ministry of Agriculture’s Boardroom today, Senior Minister in the Office of the President with Responsibility for Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh handed over more than $75M in agricultural equipment and materials to the Ministry of Agriculture as part of President Irfaan Ali’s agriculture and food security initiative in Guyana and this country’s lead role in the sector in the CARICOM (Caribbean Community) Region.

The items handed over included shade mesh, plain wire, mist blowers, shade house plastic and mesh, knapsack sprayers, water pumps, fertilizers, garden hoses, cutlass files, spades, brush cutters, wheel barrows, gloves, shovels, water cans as well as over 12,500 coconut seedlings and 20,200 fruits and ground provision seedlings. These are expected to be distributed to farmers in various regions across the country.

While handing over the materials and equipment Minister Singh pointed out that the distribution of the items countrywide, which will ultimately be done by the Agriculture Ministry, forms part of the much larger initiative that Government is rolling out to address the advancement of agriculture and food security and which is being led by President Ali, supported by Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha.

“It would be recalled that upon President Ali’s assumption of office in August 2020, Guyana very shortly thereafter resumed our role as holding the agriculture portfolio in the CARICOM /Quasi Cabinet arrangement, meaning that we are now the lead country on agriculture and food security matters, and President Ali has been advancing this Caribbean agenda for food security in a very aggressive way… to the extent in fact that coming out of the recent Summit of the Americas, where a special committee was established,” Dr. Singh explained. He noted too that the items also represent a significant contribution as part of the initiative of the United States /CARICOM committee which was established to address food security.

“Guyana has been identified in fact to Co-Chair the committee that is addressing food security and the Foreign Secretary is Co-Chairing the committee -The US/CARICOM Food security committee. But apart from the discussions and the work that we are doing to address food security at a macro level, at the national, regional and international level, agriculture and food production go to the core of the well-being of our communities,” the Finance Minister reiterated reminding those at the ceremony that agriculture has historically been the mainstay of Guyana’s economy with tens of thousands of families deriving their economic livelihood from the sector.

Receiving the items on behalf of his Ministry, Minister of Agriculture Zulfikar Mustapha thanked Dr. Singh and the Ministry of Finance as well as the Basic Needs Trust Fund for bringing into the Ministry of Agriculture the much valuable equipment and materials.

“This will help us to implement the programmes that the Government is rolling out throughout the country and is testimony to the government’s commitment,” Minister Mustapha underscored.

The Caribbean Development Bank’s (CDB) Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF) programme is one of its key instruments for addressing poverty reduction in the Caribbean region. The programme provides access to basic public services through the provision of social and economic infrastructure and the development of skills to enhance employability, community management and engagement. The programme targets the reduced incidence of economic and social vulnerability among the poorest populations in participating countries.

The BNTF programme in Guyana is jointly funded by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the Government of Guyana. BNTF’s Implementing Agency (IA) Guyana began receiving Country Project grants from the Caribbean Development Bank’s Third Programme (BNTF 3) in 1993 and has continued to benefit. For approximately twenty-seven years, the BNTF IA, a Project under the Ministry of Finance, has been implementing projects across the length and breadth of Guyana. The main objective was, and still is, to contribute to poverty-reduction in targeted communities by implementing infrastructure and human capacity development projects. From its inception to date, BNTF Guyana has implemented 612 sub- projects. An estimated 52,283 persons directly benefitted from the projects delivered including 22,355 men and 31,079 women.

The BNTF in Guyana in recent times has made significant contributions to the Agriculture Sector with investments in excess of 380 million dollars. Some of its projects include:

(1) The Guyana School of Agriculture’s Agro-processing and Training Facility in Region 2, which when operationalized, will expose students to the requirements of commercial food processing operations and the techniques required for the development of new products and demonstrating to students, food processing as a viable business.
(2) Construction and equipping of a modern agro-processing and packaging facility at NAREI. The facility will be equipped with a pulp processing and tea line, to support value-added agricultural production. Training was also provided to 100 farmers and 20 extension officers in good agricultural practices and post harvesting techniques.
(3) A small scaled poultry facility within the Matarkai sub-region. The facility will not only help to meet the local poultry demands but also provide jobs for people in the community.

Under the BNTF, 31 shade houses have been constructed in partnership with community farming groups, NGOs and schools in regions 1,2,3,4,5,6,9 and 10. Training was also provided with support from partners IICA and NAREI.

APNU/AFC treated public servants callously-says Finance Minister

Georgetown, Ministry of Finance, July 21, 2022: Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh yesterday during the 48 the Sitting of the 12 the Parliament lambasted the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance for Change (APNU/AFC) for that party’s treatment of public servants during its term in office as he added that while pretending to care for public servants through a motion moved in Parliament seeking support for them, the Opposition Party already knew that there was no ‘policy’ which causes new entrants into the public service to be paid three months after they would have been employed, but rather, the issue usually resulted due to various bureaucratic processes fully well known by the party and which it was unable to resolve itself for the benefit of hard working public servants, between the period 2015-2020, despite its meek attempts. Dr. Singh added that the party was therefore being hypocritical since during its five years while in government (between 2015- 2020) public servants were treated extremely callously.

Highlighting his point, Dr. Singh noted that it was in December, 2019 that APNU/AFC’s Tabitha Sarabo Halley while Minister of the Public Service at the time issued a circular on the very same matter.

“Indeed in 2019…. the Public Service Ministry under the Ministerial tenure of Ms. Tabitha Sarabo Halley issued circular Number 2 of 2019 and that circular reads as follows (mind you four years after they entered office): “There is seemingly some misinformation concerning the practice of the payment of salaries to new entrants into the public service which is being relayed could only be done within a 3 months period. Please be advised that there is no such practice or rule hence, the practice and misinformation must cease forthwith…..”. The Minister indicated following his reading out of the entire circular that the circular clearly indicated that the then Government knew what the problem was and the Minister added that given the employment process involving typically advertisements, applications etc. and the process to formalize their employment, Government Orders being issued etc. and partly as a result of various bureaucracies, the process becomes a more protracted one for appointees, especially if persons turn out to work before the employment contract and appointment letter have been issued. On that note, the Finance Minister posited that it is the PPP/C’s position that persons must be paid as soon as possible after they receive their appointment instrument and/or their contract.

But the Senior Finance Minister not only alluded to the issue of the APNU/AFC not resolving the same issues they were bringing to Parliament, but he also pointed to other actions of that party which demonstrated their treatment of public servants, such as the forcing of thousands of public servants, including professional medical doctors, to move from the contract gratuity system to the pensionable establishment.

“They claim that they love public servants and they champion their cause….’you think the public servants don’t know or they have forgotten that you compelled thousands of them to give up their contract gratuity status and to move to permanent establishment status?” Minister Singh asked the Opposition Members as he addressed the National Assembly. “Do you know the effect that had?’ That had the effect of reducing those people’s emoluments by 22.5 percent,” Dr. Singh said.

“Many of these public servants were members of the Disciplined Services-Policemen and women, soldiers, firemen, they took away the one-month bonus from them….under the People’s Progressive Civic Government they used to get a one-month bonus ” Dr. Singh further reminded the National Assembly.

The finance minister then continued that many public servants who worked beyond the call of duty were told by the APNU/AFC Government that they should either take their leave or lose it and consequently, public servants who were already over stretched and hardworking were willing to forego their leave to get work done since the APNU/AFC Government told them that they would not be paid their salary in lieu of leave.

 

 

Guyana’s overall real GDP grew by 36.4% in the first half of the year, with non-oil growth of 8.3% – according to the Mid-Year Report 2022   

Georgetown, Ministry of Finance, September 3, 2022: According to the Ministry of Finance’s recently released Mid-Year Report 2022, Guyana recorded an overall real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth of 36.4 percent in the first half of the year, with the non-oil economy growing by 8.3 percent, reflecting Government’s supportive policy stance. The outlook for the second half continues to be favourable. For the full year, real GDP growth in 2022 is now projected at 56 percent overall, and non-oil GDP growth at 9.6 percent, maintaining Guyana’s position of global leader in economic growth.    

“Led by President Ali and fueled by the rapid economic growth, we have embarked on a period of rapid transformation, and our Government has laid out a masterplan for the rapid development and transformation of Guyana. More importantly, we have demonstrated the capacity and commitment to working assiduously to make this vision a reality so that benefits can redound to citizens in the shortest possible time,” Dr. Singh had indicated.

Senior Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh had noted that upon the assumption to office by the President Irfaan Ali-led Government, the administration recognised the importance of a strong, diversified economic base and, as such, even in the early days of oil production, placed the highest level of importance on a resilient non-oil economy. The aim, therefore, was to modernise the economy’s traditional pillars and catalyze ‘a rapidly growing and highly competitive non-oil economy. This is evident in the nation’s non-oil economic growth at the end of the first half. The continued growth projected for 2022 builds on the 4.6 percent growth recorded last year.

The key macroeconomic highlights are as follows:

SECTORAL PERFORMANCE

Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing 

The agriculture, forestry and fishing sector is estimated to have expanded by 10.9 percent in the first six months of 2022, driven by higher output from the other crops, forestry and livestock, notwithstanding weaker performances in the sugar, rice and fishing industries. The sector is now expected to grow by 11.9 percent.

Extractive Industries

The mining and quarrying sector is estimated to have grown by 64.6 percent in the first half of the year, with a revised 2022 forecast of 99.9 percent driven by growth in the petroleum and other mining industries.

The petroleum sector expanded by an estimated 73.5 percent, with 34.6 million barrels of oil produced in the first half of the year. This was the result of the commencement of oil production at the Liza Unity FPSO in February. Also on the upside, the bauxite industry is estimated to have grown by 31.9 percent, and the other mining and quarrying (sand, stone, diamonds, manganese) industries by 36.3 percent, in the first half of 2022.

Manufacturing, Services and Construction

The service industries are estimated to have expanded by 7.6 percent, driven largely by increases in wholesale and retail trade, and transport and storage. The overall 2022 growth rate for the services sector is now forecasted to be 6.3 percent. While the manufacturing sector is estimated to have contracted by 11.4 percent in the first half of the year, it is now projected to grow by 7.5 percent for 2022.

The construction sector is estimated to have grown by a strong 20.4 percent in the first half of 2022, reflecting intensified activity in both the public and private sector.

BALANCE OF PAYMENTS

The overall balance of payments recorded a US$100 million deficit at the end of the first half of 2022, reflecting primarily higher cost of fuel and capital imports.

With respect to trade, export receipts expanded by US$2,330.2 million, outweighing the US$506.6 million increase in imports. Notably, these receipts grew largely as a result of higher export earnings from oil, while, at the same time, non-oil export earnings increased marginally by 2 percent.

MONETARY DEVELOPMENTS

Consistent with the expansion in the non-oil productive sector, credit to the private sector rose by 7.5 percent to $308.3 billion.

This primarily reflects expanding credit to the services sector, manufacturing sector, for real estate mortgage loans, and to households. These increased by 8.2 percent, 26.7 percent, 3.2 percent, and 5.1 percent, to $110.3 billion, $34.2 billion, $98.6 billion, and $38.5 billion, respectively.

PRICES

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has exacerbated supply disruptions to commodity markets, resulting in surging commodity prices, the effects of which are being felt globally. Guyana has not been spared. Consumer prices were 4.9 percent higher than levels recorded at the end of 2021 and this was due largely to higher food and energy prices.

Recognising the consequences of these inflationary pressures, Government implemented a suite of measures to ease the burden on the population. The excise tax on petroleum was reduced from 20 percent to 10 percent at the time of Budget 2022 presentation, and reduced even further from 10 percent to zero in March. Additionally, Government also utilised $1 billion for the purchase and distribution of fertilizer to farmers across the country, $800 million to provide cash grants to households in hinterland and riverain communities, among a number of other interventions.

Given the existing geopolitical tensions globally, inflation is now projected to be 5.8 percent for 2022.

NATURAL RESOURCE FUND

During the first six months of the year, Government had five lifts of profit oil from the two producing FPSOs. Further, Government received US$307 million in revenue from their share of profit oil, along with royalties to the tune of US$37.1 million, in the first half. The cumulative balance on the NRF, inclusive of interest income, was US$753.3 million, after withdrawing US$200 million in May.

Government anticipates 13 lifts of profit oil for 2022, and subject to the evolution of world market oil prices, now projects US$1.1 billion from the sale of the country’s share of profit oil, and US$147.7 million in royalties.

In just over 24 months of this Government’s current term in office, implemented policies and programmes have already laid a solid foundation for realising the commitments made in the 2020 Manifesto, on the basis of which this Government was elected to office. Government remains steadfast in its efforts to continue to grow the economy and improve the wellbeing of all Guyanese, thereby building a modern and prosperous One Guyana.

To view the entire Mid-Year Report 2022, click here: https://finance.gov.gy/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Mid-Year-Report-2022-FINAL-compressed.pdf

Over $44 billion in Supplementary Funding sought in support of major developmental initiatives countrywide

Georgetown, Ministry of Finance, July 21, 2022: Supplementary funding to cater for a range of developmental initiatives countrywide including to provide additional resources for Amerindian and Hinterland Communities, Infrastructural Development in new and existing housing schemes and improvement and expansion of Coastal and Hinterland water supply among many other areas, were today sought when Senior Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh presented a Supplementary Appropriation Bill to the National Assembly during the 48 th Sitting of the 12th Parliament.

The Supplementary Bill comprised Financial Paper Number 1 of 2022 totalling $44.8 billion which will see $21 Billion being spent in the Housing and Water sector for infrastructural development in new and existing housing schemes and improvement and expansion of coastal and hinterland water supply; $5.5 Billion for the Agriculture Sector for various provisions including additional resources for the Black Belly Sheep project and the provision of additional resources for drainage and irrigation interventions and support to the Sugar Industry; $307 Million for the education sector for the provision of additional resources to facilitate the purchase of school furniture consequent to the reopening of schools in the new COVID environment, the provision of additional resources to facilitate the construction of a primary school in Wakenaam.

Meanwhile, under the Ministry of Public works, $4.4 Billion was identified for various programmes under this sector including for the provision of additional resources to facilitate the upgrading of roads and drains in various communities, additional resources to facilitate the advancement of preliminary works to support the road linkage project, and resources to complete critical sea and river defence works.

Under the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs, over $3 Billion is catered for to provide for additional resources to support Amerindian and Hinterland Communities, while for the Ministry of Public Service, $250 million is provided for to allow for additional resources for the Guyana Online Academy of Learning (GOAL) scholarships and $700 million provided for public assistance to citizens living with permanent disabilities under the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security. The initiatives being provided for cover a range of sectors, as Government continues to make efforts to transform and improve the lives of Guyana’s citizens.

Government’s historic Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) 2030 presented to the National Assembly by Finance Minister

Georgetown, Ministry of Finance, July 21, 2022: Senior Minister in the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh today presented Guyana’s Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) 2030 to the National Assembly. It is expected that the National Assembly will debate the motion on the LCDS 2030 at its next sitting.

Today’s presentation of the LCDS 2030, follows a more than seven-month national consultation, based on a draft strategy which was launched by His Excellency President Irfaan Ali in an Address to the Nation on October 28, 2021. This revised version of the LCDS 2030, incorporates feedback and comments received during the national consultation process.

Since the launch, thousands of people across Guyana participated in information sharing and consultation activities. In his foreword to the LCDS 2030, President Ali thanked all those who participated and contributed ideas and opinions. The President said: “The strategy that has resulted is not a static document – but rather a vision that will live for years to come. It sets a direction of travel that I believe will catalyse innovation and new ideas as its various elements move to implementation. I hope that as this implementation pathway evolves, our national conversation and consultation about its important measures will continue. I want everyone in the country to have the chance to forge opinions about sustainable development.”

The LCDS 2030 builds from an original vision set out in 2009, when the then-President, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo, called for new global models for low-deforestation development pathways – stating: “Tropical Forest countries have long called for the ecosystem services provided by the world’s standing forests to be properly valued, through both public and private finance. This will enable people who live in forests and forest countries to create jobs and economic opportunity from an economy that works with nature, instead of today’s reality where forests are worth more dead than alive.”

This vision was given life through the LCDS 2009, which underwent one of the biggest national consultations in Guyana’s history at that time – and outlined a three-phase process whereby Guyana could earn money from forest climate services and invest these in LCDS priorities.

For Phase I, Guyana sought a bilateral partner who shared the country’s vision and who was willing to partner to create a model for the world. This culminated in the 2009 Guyana-Norway Agreement which, at the time, was the second largest forest agreement of its kind in the world. Norway paid Guyana over US$220 million for forest climate services for the period 2009 to 2015.  These revenues were, and are still being, invested in clean energy, low carbon jobs, Amerindian land titling, the Amerindian Development Fund project, rehabilitation of the Cunha Canal and other climate resilience work, support for small and medium enterprise development in collaboration with the local banking sector, and many other investments which were set out in the LCDS 2009 and a 2013 update. Crucially, throughout this period, the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC) invested heavily in building one of the worlds’ most advanced forest carbon Monitoring, Reporting and Verification Systems (MRVS).

No payments were received for performance after 2015.

However, on resuming office, the PPP/C Government quickly set out to re-establish and expand the means to implement the vision of the original LCDS.

Guyana is now once again able to advance– and to move to Phase II of the plan that was set out in 2009. In Phase II, Guyana can start to replace or augment payments from Norway, and instead receive revenues for forest climate services from global voluntary carbon markets.

At the same time, the LCDS 2030 sets out how the country can start to prepare for potential revenue streams from other ecosystem services – including those based on Guyana’s world-class biodiversity and water resources.

The LCDS 2030 will be funded from more than just the new revenues from forest carbon markets – regular national finances will also be deployed. However, there are particular new opportunities to use the new revenue streams from carbon markets to the benefit of those who live in, and depend on, the forest – as well as other local communities.

The national consultation on the LCDS 2030 sought ideas on how these new revenues could be invested. As a result, the strategy sets out two pathways:

• National programmes as outlined in the draft LCDS 2030, including investments in renewable energy, land titling, protection against climate change and other areas;
• Community/Village-led programmes for indigenous peoples and local communities (IPLCs) as set out in Village Sustainability Plans (VSPs) or equivalent, put together by communities themselves in accordance with the principles of Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) as set out in the LCDS 2030 Chapter Two.

A dedicated 15% of all revenues from forest carbon markets will be available to Amerindian communities who choose to opt in and produce their own Village Sustainability Plans.

This proposal was welcomed by the National Toshaos Council in a resolution on Friday, July 15, 2022 with the NTC resolution recognizing “the extensive national-scale and community-based consultations, conducted over the past seven months, [which] have informed the main aspects of LCDS 2030” while welcoming “the commitment expressed in the LCDS 2030 to continued consultation and engagement with Indigenous Communities and Villages as the LCDS moves to implementation.”

Subsequently – on Monday, July 18, 2022 – the Multi-Stakeholder Steering Committee (MSSC) of the LCDS approved the finalisation of the Strategy based on the wide-ranging stakeholder feedback since October 2021. The MSSC oversees the consultative process and implementation of the LCDS 2030.

It comprises representatives of Government Ministries and agencies, non-governmental organizations, the private sector, youth, mining and forestry producers, the National Toshaos Council, indigenous communities, and civil society.

The MSSC will continue to meet regularly after the LCDS has been tabled in the National Assembly to take forward elements of the LCDS, which will require further consultation and idea generation.

With the approval of the MSSC, the LCDS 2030 was today tabled in the National Assembly. In the foreword, President Ali said: “I hope that individuals, businesses, and organisations – in Guyana and across the world – will stay engaged. I also hope that all politicians in the National Assembly will recognise that the long-term ambitions contained in this LCDS 2030 are ambitions for Guyana, so deserve support and continued engagement. Because if we work together, we can advance development for all our people. We can also demonstrate to the world – but perhaps more importantly to ourselves – that our “one Guyana” is more than up to the task of achieving big things and creating a better future for all.”

 

Finance Minister tables agreements for world class Regional hospitals, health care countrywide

Georgetown, Ministry of Finance, July 21, 2022: As Government moves to modernize the healthcare system throughout the country, Senior Minister in the Office of the President with Responsibility for Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh, today tabled two agreements in the National Assembly to cater for the construction of modern health care facilities in five of Guyana’s ten Regions during the 48 th Sitting of the 12 th Parliament.

The first Export Finance Agreement (No. CIE/BC-DL/Guyana/0020014380) dated June 14, 2022 between the Co-operative Republic of Guyana and the United Kingdom Export Finance totaling Euros 161,016,949 which allows for the financing, design and construction of a state-of-the-art Paediatric and Maternal Hospital at Ogle as well as the delivery of medical equipment to the institution.

The second one is a Deferred Payment Agreement (Lot One (1) to Lot Six (6) dated July 12, 2022 between the Co-operative Republic of Guyana and the China CAMC Engineering Company Limited for a total amount of Euros 136,132,800 for the financing of Government’s Regional Hospitals Project.

Under the Regional Hospitals Project, six Hospitals will be constructed in five regions: one in Region Two (Pomeroon/Supenaam); one at De Kinderen, Region Three (Essequibo Islands/West
Demerara); one at Diamond and another at Enmore, in Region Four (Demerara/Mahaica); one in Bath, Region Five (Mahaica/Berbice) and one in Number 75 Village, Region Six (East Berbice/Corentyne). Each modern hospital is slated to be equipped with 75 beds.

Meanwhile, the Paediatric and Maternal Hospital at Ogle will be equipped with 256 beds.

In his 2022 Budget Speech to the National Assembly, the Finance Minister stated that: “Ensuring a modern, world class healthcare system is a paramount objective for our Government. To this end, we will leverage existing and soon-to-be-built public healthcare facilities, private investment, as well as public-private partnerships in the sector, with the aim of not only meeting the needs of our citizens and residents, but also to be able to offer medical treatment as an export service through medical tourism”.

The Minister also referred to the construction of the paediatric and maternal hospital as well as the six new regional hospitals, while noting that the six hospitals which will be constructed will catapult healthcare delivery (beyond current levels provided by existing regional facilities) and will ‘reduce the undue cost and burden of referrals to the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC)’.

On July 8, 2022, in keeping with Government’s commitment to modernize the healthcare system in the country, President Irfaan Ali announced that a national healthcare initiative would commence in collaboration with the Mount Sinai Health System, an internationally recognized healthcare provider and Hess Corporation to improve access to and the quality of healthcare for Guyanese. The initiative allows the Mount Sinai/Hess Corporation partnership to work with the Government of Guyana to assist and advise Government how to develop and implement a high- quality primary health care system including specialized services in cardiology and oncology, to bring about significant improvement at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC).

Major relief for mining community

-as Fiscal Enactment Amendment Bill primarily provides for the reduction of final tax and removal of Tributor’s tax applicable to the mining industry

Georgetown, Ministry of Finance, July 21, 2022: The Fiscal Enactment Amendment Bill No. 2 of 2022 was today presented to the National Assembly by Senior Minister in the Office of the President with Responsibility for Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh. This Bill seeks to give legislative effect to the commitments made by Government to the mining community during a meeting at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre at the end of May last and will allow for relief for miners through a number of measures to be implemented by Government.

On May 31 last, Vice-President Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo had met with the Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association (GGDMA) at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC), following which Government announced a number of measures that would be taken to provide relief for miners as well as in fulfillment of the People’s Progressive Party/Civic’s (PPP/C’s) promises to miners as outlined in its manifesto.

The measures included the reduction of final tax from a maximum of 3.5 percent to 2.5 percent which would result in an estimated $1.4Billion being returned to the mining industry, and the removal of the 10 percent Tributors’ Tax that would benefit thousands of workers in the industry with $300 million expected to be returned to those who were paying this tax.

Further, Minister Singh also presented Value-Added Tax (No.3) Order 2022, which was Gazetted earlier in July, removing Value Added Tax (VAT) on lubricating oil, a key input in not only the mining industry, but almost all the productive sectors.

In total, all measures, once implemented would see a total of $1.9 billion returned to the industry.

Also tabled, was the Value-Added Tax (No.2) Order 2022, which removed VAT on cement, cement board and sheet rock, in line with Government’s vision for providing relief to citizens as well as to support the housing drive.