Government removes VAT on Cement

Georgetown, Ministry of Finance, April 29, 2022: Senior Minister in the Office of the President with Responsibility for Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh has announced the removal of Value Added Tax (VAT) on Cement with effect from today April 29, 2022.

It would be recalled that Government had previously announced in Budget 2020, the removal of VAT on building and construction materials where VAT was imposed after 2014. At the time that this measure was implemented, Cement was not impacted because Cement had previously attracted VAT prior to 2015.

Government’s removal of VAT on Cement reflects recognition of the importance of Cement as a key input for the construction of residential dwellings as well as commercial buildings, and in line with Government’s vision for providing relief to citizens as well as to support the housing drive. This measure is expected to provide substantial support to the local economy.

Government would have previously also removed VAT from water, electricity, basic food items and household necessities.

Government’s expectation is that the removal of VAT from Cement will be passed on to final consumers through appropriate adjustments in the final price charged.

Finance Minister encourages businesses to deploy more digital solutions during Canada-Guyana Chamber of Commerce’s inaugural AGM

-Outlines some of Government’s plans to promote E-commerce

Georgetown, Ministry of Finance, April 26, 2022: Senior Minister in the Office of the President with Responsibility for Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh, today, while applauding some businesses for already moving ahead with improving their E-Commerce services before and during the COVID-19 pandemic, further encouraged private sector entities to deploy solutions to allow for faster and easier service and E- Commerce business transactions. At the same time, the Minister outlined Government’s plans, some of which are already being enacted, in terms of response and solutions to the inefficiencies in the system. Dr. Singh was speaking at the inaugural Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Guyana/Canada Chamber of Commerce which was held today at the Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry’s (GBTI’s) Recreational Centre, Bel Air Park.

Emphasizing that the Chamber has an extremely important role to play in the economic and commercial landscape of Guyana, the Finance Minister reminded that there are already many Canadian companies with very well-established presence in Guyana as well as many Guyanese companies doing business with Canada and some located there. He reminded further that this point was reinforced most recently during the visit to Guyana by Canada’s Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, Mary Ng during which a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between Guyana and the Canadian Commercial Cooperation that will facilitate discussions and exchange of information related to the procurement of Canadian goods and services. Dr. Singh pointed out that under this framework, it is expected that even greater opportunities for economic and commercial transactions will be realized. On this note, he congratulated the Chamber for all of their achievements since their formation in December 2020.

Minister Singh then outlined some of Government’s plans in E-commerce as he referenced President Ali’s consultative meeting recently at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre which focused on an Information Communications Technology (ICT) Masterplan for Guyana. He alluded to Government’s vision in the deployment of digital solution not only from the point of view of improving the public infrastructural space and not only from the standpoint of the deployment of digital solutions from an electronic Government perspective in terms of E-Government but also the use of digital solutions for the purposes of private sector commercial activity. Those, he stated, are all elements of any modern ICT Masterplan.

“One of the very first things that President Ali did when he assumed office was to bring into operation the new Telecommunications Act and that Act laid the foundation for the liberalization of the telecommunications sector and saw immediately thereafter, significantly ramped up interest by companies operating in the ICT space in introducing services which previously were largely in the domain of the legacy monopoly provided,” Dr. Singh reminded.

‘We’ve seen already, perhaps most prominently, the laying of redundant fibre optic cable and extension of fibre optic connectivity to places that were never served before,” the Minister added.

The Finance Minister pointed out that Government plans to ramp up and improve significantly, through E-commerce, the services provided by the public sector to allow for a service that would be as citizen-friendly as possible. He alluded to two of Government’s major plans of introducing a Single- Window process foe trade transactions as well as a Single window process for construction permits. The Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) has already commenced an aspect of the first process through the introduction of the Single Window Automated Processing System (SWAPS) and 2022 should see full implementation of the system. He urged the Private Sector to also take advantage of the ICT legislation and other legal provisions in order to further improve its services to the public as he commended those businesses which have already moved ahead in this direction.

The Canada-Guyana Chamber of Commerce has over the last year established a physical presence through the enrollment of over 50 business members and has organized numerous virtual and in person events to address pertinent issues of interest to members. It has also facilitated various investment opportunities and relationships between enterprises in both Guyana and Canada. The Chamber has signaled its intention to continue to strive towards improving bilateral economic relations in 2022.


Senior Finance Minister hosts roundtable with IDB-Invest, private sector at ACCC to discuss investment opportunities

Georgetown, Ministry of Finance, April 4, 2022: Senior Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh and officials from the Ministry of Finance today met with Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of IDB (Inter-American Development Bank) Invest James Scriven and team to examine the wide range of private sector opportunities in Guyana that the Bank can support. Later in the day, the Finance Minister hosted a Roundtable meeting with Representatives of the Private Sector and Mr. Scriven and team to discuss Guyana’s Development Agenda. IDB Invest is the private sector arm of the IDB. Its aim is to advance economic development and improve lives by encouraging growth of the private sector. Minister Singh was joined by Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill and Minister of Housing and Water, Collin Croal while the Private sector team was led by Chairman of the Private Sector Commission, Paul Cheong.

The Government of Guyana has been working aggressively (since its assumption to office in August (2020) to create the conditions for private sector-led growth with Government policies designed to create jobs and allow for income-generation. The meeting focused on the wide range of private sector opportunities for possible investment by the Bank such as an expansion of trade financing with Commercial Banks and providing support to micro enterprises. Additionally, discussions centred on various sectors poised for rapid expansion including oil and gas, agriculture and agro processing, tourism and Information Communications Technology (ICT) such as the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sector. It also allowed for an examination of available financing instruments, various mechanisms and modalities of accessing this financing and examples of how these mechanisms have worked in other countries. IDB- Invest offers an array of investment opportunities and provides its clients with customized financing solutions and expert advice, tailored to their specific industry and market.

The IDB-Invest was formerly known as the Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC). The entity partners with the private sector in Latin America and the Caribbean to finance projects to advance clean energy, modernize agriculture, strengthen transportation systems and expand access to financing. Financial solutions offered by IDB Invest include trade and supply chain finance, blended finance, guarantees, equity and loans.

On Monday last, during the 2022 annual meeting of the Boards of Governors of the IDB and IDB Invest, held virtually, Minister Singh lauded the commitment of the IDB Group to the continued support to the Caribbean sub-region. The Minister was speaking on behalf of the Bahamas, Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, the smallest member countries of the IDB Group.

Last week, the Senior Finance Minister hosted a similar roundtable discussion between the World Bank and the private sector led by Country Director for the Caribbean Lilia Burunciuc and new Resident Representative of the Bank Dilletta Doretti. That meeting served as an opportunity for dialogue on the Government’s economic objectives and priorities and potential opportunities for World Bank support through its assistance and lending programmes.


Senior Finance Minister holds discussions with World Bank Country Director for the Caribbean, Lilia Burunciuc, new Resident Representative Diletta Doretti and team

-discussions centre on reinforcing relations with the financial institution

Georgetown, Ministry of Finance, March 30, 2022: Senior Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh and officials from the Ministry of Finance today met with a high-level World Bank team led by Country Director for the Caribbean, Lilia Burunciuc, and new Resident Representative of the Bank, Dilletta Doretti. The meeting served as an opportunity for dialogue on the Government’s economic objectives and priorities and potential opportunities for World Bank support through its assistance and lending programmes. Key priorities discussed included Guyana’s Low Carbon Development agenda, human capital development and opportunities for partnership between the Government and the financial institution in other areas in line with its expanding and evolving capacity.

Elaborating on the various ongoing developmental projects and on Government’s policies, Dr Singh placed emphasis on diversified economic growth, highlighting the desire for an increase in the private sector footprint of the IFC (International Finance Corporation). He alluded to a number of developmental projects in the agriculture sector which hold potential such as the corn and soya bean agriculture initiative. The Senior Finance Minister further welcomed the Bank’s continued investment in human capital development as well as Guyana’s Low Carbon Development agenda.

For her part, World Bank Country Director for the Caribbean Lilia Burunciuc re-affirmed the Bank’s commitment to working closely with Guyana in promoting economic and social development while the new Resident Representative Diletta Doretti noted that Government has a clear strategy and expressed enthusiasm at being able to support the administration’s development priorities on behalf of the World Bank.

In August 2021, the Vice President responsible for the Latin American and Caribbean Region of the World Bank, Carlos Felipe Jaramillo and team made a two-day visit to the country where they met with Government and visited a number of project sites. During that visit, the Bank re-affirmed its commitment to Guyana and assessed areas for further opportunities for expanded partnership in pursuit of the country’s national development goals.

The Bank has been supporting several projects over the years through a number of loans and grants including a US$20M loan for the Guyana Petroleum Governance and Management Project to support the enhancement of legal and institutional frameworks and the strengthening of the capacity of key institutions to manage the Oil and Gas sector in Guyana. Additionally, the Bank loaned US$6M to Guyana under the Guyana Payments System Project to improve Guyana’s national payments system, while another US$13.3M was loaned for the Guyana Education Sector Improvement Project to improve student learning outcomes through reform of curriculum and teaching practices, US 37. 9M under the Flood Risk Management Project and US$12.5M towards the COVID-19 Emergency Response Project.

Further, the Bank also provided a US$7M Grant to this country towards the Guyana Education Sector Programme Project for the improvement and learning conditions at the nursery level in select areas, the increased use of technology-assisted learning at the primary level in select areas and to improve functionality of the education management information system nationally.

The visiting World Bank team today also included Judith Green, Regional Manager, Caribbean region (IFC) and Javier Suarez, Program leader for the Caribbean. The Minister also took the opportunity to welcome the new Resident Representative to Guyana and wished her a successful tenure.

Senior Finance Minister lauds IDB Group’s commitment to continued support to small Caribbean States

-during annual meeting of the Board of Governors of the IDB and IDB Invest

Georgetown, Ministry of Finance, March 28, 2022: During the 2022 annual meeting of the Boards of Governors of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and IDB Invest today, held virtually, Senior Minister in the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh, lauded the commitment of the IDB Group to the continued support to the Caribbean sub region. The Minister was speaking on behalf of the Bahamas, Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, the smallest member countries of the IDB Group.

“The Bank’s instruments to support our countries in achieving our development agendas are crucial and must remain agile to respond to mounting needs in this volatile environment.
Therefore, the Caribbean welcomes the proposal to adjust the instruments on offer. We particularly wish to highlight the important role of PBLs (Performance-based loans) in supporting integral reforms at this critical juncture and support the call for PBL caps to be made more flexible. We also welcome the proposal to exclude green PBLs from counting against the PBL cap,” Dr. Singh said, adding that ‘guarantees will be key in mobilizing private resources to contribute to confronting emerging development challenges and delivering on the 2030 agenda’.

“Therefore, we recommend that emphasis be placed on incentivizing the use of guarantee instruments. We also take this opportunity to express support for the strategic climate change and sustainability facility that will provide new concessional resources for climate action in the Caribbean”, the Minister said.

The Senior Finance Minister reminded that the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in one of the worst recessions in the Latin America and Caribbean Region in a century, causing a 7 percent decline in regional GDP in 2020 – the largest regional contraction in the world as he lamented that for some of the countries in the Caribbean, the contraction was much sharper, especially in the tourism- dependent economies of the Sub-Region.

“Recovery from the pandemic presents an opportunity to transform the development model of the Region while enhancing climate resilience, strengthening the capacity of public institutions, and supporting private institutions in making meaningful contributions towards attaining the 2030 agenda for sustainable development,” Dr. Singh assured.

The Finance Minister further explained that even though LAC’s economy is estimated to have grown by 6.8 percent in 2021, this growth has not been balanced.

“The largest expansion is estimated in Central America at 7.7 percent, followed by the Andean Sub-Region at 6.3 percent, and the Southern Cone at 6.2 percent. On the other hand, the Caribbean is expected to have a milder recovery at 1.9 percent, reflecting the acute vulnerabilities we face in the Sub-Region, even as we are all committed to working towards achieving a more robust recovery”, he said.

“This, coupled with increasing maturing debt, implies amplified gross financing needs. For the Caribbean, the threat of a protracted financial crisis lingers as tourism remains subdued and climatic events increase in frequency and intensity. Consequently, our governments are faced with difficult decisions on prioritizing interventions to stimulate a recovery, support reforms to unlock economic potential, catalytic projects to enhance development prospects, and initiatives to build resilience against the increasing threats of climate change,” the Senior Finance Minister explained further.

He emphasized that against this background, it is crucial for the IDB Group to maintain its Small and Vulnerable and Small and Island Country targets to ensure that support is granted to the countries which require the most assistance in grappling with the economic crisis.

“Therefore, we applaud the language incorporated into the resolution on the proposed new value proposition, which signals a commitment from the IDB Group for continued support to our Sub- Region.” he told the forum.

Dr. Singh concluded by encouraging the IDB Group’s Management to fulfill their pledge to develop a sub-regional strategy for the Caribbean with emphasis on health, education, infrastructure, private sector development, the digital economy, climate change, the blue economy, and the orange economy.

He also encouraged the Bank to move with alacrity in delivering support at the scale needed, on both the public and private sector sides of the Group’s operations, to facilitate a sustainable recovery in the Caribbean and to help the Sub-Region embark on a path towards lasting economic growth and prosperity.

The Minister then reiterated the strong appreciation of the Caribbean for the support provided by the IDB to the sub-region over the years as well the importance of the Group to the development
of Latin America and the Caribbean, in particular. He added that the Bank remains the premier strategic partner of choice in member countries.

In Pakistan: Guyana’s Finance Minister calls for concerted global action to tackle global problems

-at 48th Meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the OIC

Ministry of Finance, March 22, 2022: Speaking at the 48 th Meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Senior Minister in the Office of the President with Responsibility for Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh earlier today while commending the Government and People of Pakistan on behalf of President Irfaan Ali and the Government of Guyana on the occasion of Pakistan’s 75th Independence Anniversary, reiterated to officials in attendance that concerted global action is now even more urgent to tackle the global problems being faced.

“First is the question of full and lasting recovery from COVID-19. All our countries felt the pandemic’s impact, both humanitarian and economic. Effective responses necessitated international collaboration. Likewise, sustainable recovery needs joint action. Resurgence in any country anywhere, threatens the recovery in all countries everywhere. As OIC Member States, we need to stay focused on addressing the issues that are critical for safeguarding and sustaining the recovery. These include further strengthening our healthcare systems, and improving access to vaccines and other medical supplies, even as our economies reopen,” Dr. Singh strongly urged.

The Senior Finance Minister went on to explain that climate change is another issue which must be confronted more urgently on a global scale, adding that as a low-lying coastal state, Guyana is amongst the most vulnerable, and the climate crisis threatens not only its development prospects but Guyana’s very existence.

“Guyana has outlined a Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) which places our economy on a path to accelerated sustainable development. Shared commitment and joint action are critical for limiting global warming and we urge adherence to the global agenda for combating this crisis,” Dr. Singh explained.

He also noted that as a heavily forested country, there is need for more meaningful global recognition of the contribution being made by standing forests in the fight against climate change.

Minister Singh reminded that more than 800 million people worldwide still go hungry daily and almost 700 million persons worldwide are malnourished opining that food security is therefore a global imperative.

“Within the Caribbean, Guyana is leading efforts to scale up food production and productivity rapidly, and to strengthen food systems with the aim of improving food security in our region as part of the global effort to tackle this problem,” he told officials, adding that ‘additional investment in agriculture by both the public and private sectors, and dismantling of the barriers to trade in agricultural produce, are urgently needed globally’.

Dr. Singh reminded that one specific concern of the Government of Guyana and that of all OIC Member States is any form of discrimination against individuals on the basis of their religion which is a violation of their human rights and contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter as well as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

“Guyana was therefore pleased to support the OIC initiative to pursue the designation of 15 March as the International Day to Combat Islamophobia which the United Nations General Assembly agreed to do by consensus. The designation of this day is an important step towards addressing this scourge. It also presents the opportunity to raise awareness on religious intolerance more broadly with a view to promoting understanding and advancing a culture of peace,” he posited.

Meanwhile, the Finance Minister alluded to Guyana’s culture of peace, pointing out that Guyana’s final observation is a reflection on the importance of working to promote peace and stability in the regions to which OIC Member States belong as well as the rest of the world.

“On this latter note, the Government of Guyana deplores the threat or use of force in international relations and the violation of territorial integrity and sovereignty of states, wherever it may occur. We therefore remain gravely concerned over recent military intervention in violation of territorial integrity and sovereignty and we reiterate our call for an immediate cessation of hostilities and a return to diplomacy. Aggression by any one state against another is a threat to the surrounding region and to countries everywhere,” Dr. Singh said.

He concluded that while examining the various resolutions at the forum, Guyana’s delegation took note of the number of conflicts that are still ongoing, and how these conflicts are impeding the advancement of human rights and hindering development. As such, he expressed Guyana’s stance on the need for political will and concrete actions to resolve these issues.

“Guyana expresses its continued unwavering solidarity with the Palestinian people in their just struggle to live in peace and dignity,” the Finance Minister indicated further at the forum relating that in Guyana, led by His Excellency Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali, the country has embraced a philosophy of oneness in the concept of ‘One Guyana’ aimed at reinforcing the strength Guyanese derive from diversity and promoting the unity and prosperity of all of its people. He then reaffirmed Guyana’s steadfast commitment to the values of the OIC and to contributing to the furtherance of the Organization’s objectives.

Also in attendance at the forum as part of Guyana’s delegation was Guyana’s Ambassador to Qatar Safraaz Shadood.

Senior Finance Minister elaborates on Government’s initiatives being undertaken to achieve SDGs

-while addressing Fifth Forum of the Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean on Sustainable Development

Georgetown, Ministry of Finance, March 7, 2022: Addressing the Fifth Forum of the Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean on Sustainable Development today, Senior Minister in the Office of the President with Responsibility for Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh highlighted the initiatives being further taken by Government as it aims to aggressively ensure that Guyana achieves the targeted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The forum attended virtually by the Finance Minister is being held in San Jose, Costa Rica and the Minister’s presentation was made in response to the fifth report on regional progress and challenges in relation to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Latin America and the Caribbean.

“Recognizing that food systems are critical not only to the elimination of hunger and the reduction of poverty but are also linked to the achievement of several of the SDGs, Guyana is giving heightened attention to the agri-food sector with a view to increasing the quantity and quality of output and to reduce food insecurity,” Minister Singh explained. To support this point, the Minister highlighted Government’s spearheading of the CARICOM (Caribbean Community) Agri-Food Systems Agenda which prioritizes regional food security and nutrition. He further alluded to the recent meeting held last week held in Belize (33 rd Intersessional Meeting) which aimed to reduce the Region’s food import bill by 25 percent by 2025.

“Second, as a low-lying coastal developing state with the attendant vulnerabilities to climate change, Guyana has crafted a unique development model as a response to the climate crisis. In this regard, we are pursuing a Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) 2030 which simultaneously facilitates sustainable economic development while combatting climate change,” the Finance Minister added. In this regard, he emphasized that the LCDS is premised on the REDD+ mechanism and commits to the preservation of rainforests as a means of lowering carbon emissions. The Minister posited that “Our LCDS 2030 takes account of environmental services, water resources management, climate resilience, biodiversity, renewable energy, the marine economy, and land management.”

On Government’s plan to tackle learning loss as a result of the pandemic, the Finance Minister alluded to Government’s ongoing work in the education sector.

“Conscious that the pandemic has engendered learning loss, the Government of Guyana is providing tangible support for learning from nursery to tertiary levels for broad-based human capital development. This support includes the provision of twenty thousand (20,000) online scholarships in more than one hundred and eighty-seven (187) programmes that can be accessed from fifteen (15) reputable academic institutions across the world,” he noted. Dr. Singh added that ‘the areas of scholarship include vocational training, undergraduate, and post-graduate studies.’

“These efforts along with other social safety nets such as the childcare subsidies and cash grants aim to enhance learning outcomes and capacity building,” he further assured the Forum.

Finally, the Senior Finance Minister urged the forum that if the development architecture is to be changed to achieve meaningful and sustainable development, then in determining eligibility for development financing, the multidimensional nature of vulnerabilities must be taken into account.

“The beyond-GDP argument is now old, and globally we need to move well beyond this if we are serious about sustainable development. I would like to reiterate Guyana’s call made by President Dr. Irfaan Ali and once again urge that the work on developing a robust and credible Multidimensional Vulnerability Index be brought to a timely conclusion and finalization, and that we move swiftly as a global community to incorporate the MVI into the framework for determining eligibility for development support, especially concessional support,” Dr. Singh said.

Concluding his presentation, the Minister said Government recognizes that the achievement of the SDGs requires partnership at various levels and remains committed to working with the United Nations system to accelerate the process.

The Forum will include several more presentations from various countries and will conclude on March 9, 2022.

Finance Minister condemns repeat of pre-2015 misinformation campaign against Amaila Falls and other major development projects

Georgetown, Ministry of Finance, February 28, 2022: Senior Minister in the Office of the President with Responsibility for Finance Dr. Ashni Singh today condemned what he termed the misinformation campaign targeting the Amaila Falls Hydropower project and other major development projects as he noted that it is the same campaign which was carried out prior to 2015 and resulted in major projects being stymied while no other alternative was offered by the party which assumed office afterward.

“I want to express in the strongest possible terms my grave disappointment and indeed our government’s grave disappointment at the campaign of misinformation that is being waged in relation to major developmental projects and in particular, most recently, in relation to the Amaila Falls Hydropower project,” the Minister said reminding that the project was subject to extremely detailed studies and analysis by international technical experts and it was examined by international development agencies and bilateral partners such as Norway. He added that it was also examined by international investors.

“In fact, if we were to cast our minds back to the pre-2015 period, we had brought (the then PPP/C Government) the project to a point where we had a major, large, credible international investor who was ready and willing to invest in this project. It would be recalled that the then APNU/AFC used their one-seat majority while in opposition to derail and ultimately to frustrate the project. Had the then APNU/AFC not done so… not only would construction have commenced but construction by now would have been completed and Amaila would have been providing electricity to the National Grid,” The Senior Finance Minister explained.

He noted that what was particularly significant was that the then Government upon assuming office in 2015 commissioned a study to be done by an international consultancy entity (Norwegian Consultancy Agency) Norconsult to complete a study on the project.

“Norconsult did an extensive study and concluded in very favorable terms that the Amaila Falls project was the best option for Guyana to transition to clean renewable energy. That report is publicly available Minister Singh further emphasized while reminding that despite all that, the APNU/AFC government did not proceed with the project, nor did they produce an alternative project. He posited that the PPP/C Government committed to resuming work on the project and completing it once it assumed office once more.

“Let me be crystal clear that the resumption of this campaign of misinformation has one objective in mind-the same objective as the misinformation campaign during the pre-2015 period and that is to frustrate development-to deny the people development as long as the PPP/C is in office,” Minister Singh concluded.

In examining the misinformation on the project, the Ministry of Finance has noted that since the Energy Conference held recently, there have been a series of articles on the Amaila Falls Hydropower project that are either fabrications, erroneous, or lacking in balance and objectivity.

The Ministry of Finance wishes to remind that the Amaila Falls project has been extensively studied and reviewed. Many of the current project risks were exposed to the public since 2012 and were properly reviewed by all partners (including the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and due diligence was conducted by expert firms on behalf of the IDB. As recently as 2016, the project was reviewed at the request of A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) by Norway via an independent firm Norconsult. The current project, taken as a whole, based on independent reviews and analysis, manages risks prudently. The project also represents a clean, renewable means of electricity with significant financial savings for Guyana.


In the February 22 edition of the Kaieteur News, the newspaper published an article headlined “GPL liable when Amaila Falls run dry”—Winston Brassington. Firstly, the above was never said by Winston Brassington and therefore the headline was a total fabrication and an erroneous statement. Winston Brassington referred to hydrology risk being assumed by GPL, as off-taker, a position reviewed and supported by consultants, as articulated below. No reasonable extrapolation can equate the KN headline to what was stated by Mr. Brassington. The fact is Amaila will have a 23 KM 2 reservoir to hold water and this reservoir allows the hydro optimized delivery of energy on an annual basis. Secondly, dating back to 2012, all Parties considered the hydrology assumption that Amaila can deliver 1,050 GWH energy on average per annum, a reasonable number (if not conservative). These number were relied on by the IDB in their due diligence in 2012. By way of illustration, at 165 MW, without factoring hydrology risks, the project can generate as much as 1,445 GWh, at full capacity. Assuming 1,050 GWH/annum, assumes a capacity utilization of 72%. It is at this capacity, that the price of 7.7 cents/kWh is calculated over a 20-year period. In some years, there may be more than 1,050 GWH generated; in others, it could be lower. Under all scenarios, Amaila delivers a significant reduction in power generation costs and a minimum annual level of energy. Amaila, in essence, is a clean renewable project. Thirdly, these matters were addressed and made a public record. For example, we attach a press release from the GOG dated October 2013 which addressed the hydrology issue. Fourthly, various studies consider the hydrology assumptions, conservative:

Independent Engineer (Tractebel Engineering S.A) for the IDB in 2013:

“Regarding the inflows, it is the Consultant’s opinion that they may have been significantly
underestimated (likely by some 23% on average) …….”

Norconsult (Norwegian independent final report dated December 2016 at the request of APNU):

“The Halcrow Group’s Hydrology Review Report of June 2011 indicates the selected factor 0.3 to be somewhat conservative (on the safe side) as regards the production potential. The same view, even stronger, especially in periods of low flow, is opined in the IE's Due Diligence Report of 2013. A conservative transposing factor (0.3) and the moderate installed capacity compared to the medium inflow to the reservoir means that the risk for not achieving the foreseen production potential is low. Therefore, the hydrological uncertainty of having scarce series of direct flow measurements cannot be concluded to be a threat to the soundness of the project.

Geological Risk:

Independent Engineer (Tractebel Engineering S.A) for the IDB in 2013:

“Globally, the geological context of the area is predominantly a compact, massive bedrock, consisting of horizontally stratified hard sandstones forming the upper plateau, and in the area of the powerhouse, power tunnel, and likely the lower part of the shaft, an intrusion of massive eruptive rock. On the upper plateau, the thickness of soils appears limited, in the area of the dam and the headrace tunnel, and the bedrock appears generally close to ground surface. In the area of the powerhouse and under the slope below the upper plateau, the bedrock appears covered by a thick deposit of soils mixed with large boulders, either of sandstone fallen from the upper plateau cliffs, or eruptive rocks boulders resulting from in place weathering process. No major fault or other kind of large geological singularity is anticipated in the area of the project works. This constitutes a globally favorable geological context.”

Norconsult (Norwegian independent final report dated December 2016 at the request of APNU) –pg. 26:

“The most favourable natural features of the Amaila Falls site for the planned hydropower project are: (i) the river gradient provides an inherent gross head of about 350 m over a river stretch of only about 3 km; (ii) the geology seems generally favourable for underground works, especially in the igneous rocks underlying the sedimentary rocks on top, and (iii) the planned installed capacity is small compared to the mean water flow in Kuribrong / Amaila rivers at the project site.” The Ministry therefore urges all media outlets to be responsible when reporting on matters of National interest.

Attached is an Oct 15, 2013 Press Release by the GOG relating to the Amaila Falls Hydrology.

GoG 2013 release on Amaila

‘Historic’ and ‘Transformational’ $552.9 Billion 2022 Budget passed by National Assembly

Georgetown, Ministry of Finance, February 10, 2022: The $552.9 Billion National Budget presented to Parliament on January 26 was today passed in Parliament following approval of the Appropriation Bill 2022 (Bill No. 1 of 2022) and the Fiscal Enactment Amendment Bill (No. 2 of 2022) and conclusion of five days of debates along with four days of Committee of Supply meetings. During these periods, A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance for Change’s (APNU/AFC’s) Opposition Members went through the estimates and grilled Government officials on all of the various provisions under each Ministry and sector.

Just after the passage of the Appropriation Bill and moments before the passage of the Fiscal Enactment Amendment Bill today, Senior Minister in the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh explained to the National Assembly that Bill No. 2 is intended to amend the legislation pertaining to the various tax statutes which required amendments for the purposes of giving effect to the measures included in Budget 2022.

“It would be recalled Sir that there are provisions in Budget 2022 that are intended for example to increase the income tax threshold. That measure was announced in the context of Budget 2022. It was of course I believe adequately and abundantly ventilated during the course of the debate of the Budget. This Bill seeks to give legislative effect to that announcement. It similarly, Sir, seeks to give effect to other tax measures announced during the course of Budget 2022,” Dr. Singh added as he addressed the Speaker and the National Assembly. The Finance Minister then went on to list some of the tax measures including the measure to increase the income tax threshold.

During his presentation under the theme ‘Steadfast Against All Challenges, Resolute in Building our One Guyana’ on Budget Day, the Senior Finance Minister had indicated that this year’s Budget would be “historic” and “transformational.”

“Budget 2022 – if I were to highlight a single sentence to describe Budget 2022 it would really be to say that it will be transformational in the sense that many of the big initiatives that we have alluded to in the manifesto, [and] subsequently in the major presidential speeches, one could easily get a good sense of the main priorities coming out of the manifesto,” Dr. Singh had said.

The Finance Minister in his speech to the National Assembly had emphasized too that this year’s Budget ‘provides for massive investment in infrastructure that will change the face of Guyana forever, opening vast new tracts of land for productive purposes, establishing entire new communities while connecting others and making thousands of Guyanese homeowners for the very first time’.

“This Budget lays the basis for thousands of rewarding jobs to be created for Guyanese nationals, including by leveraging the local content opportunities that are now being created, and it provides for relevant training to ensure that the Guyanese workforce is suitably equipped,” he added.

Dr. Singh had further concluded that Budget 2022 ‘lays the cornerstone for a visible leap in the coverage and quality social services enjoyed by our Guyanese brothers and sisters, including and especially the most vulnerable’.

Budget 2022 is 44.3 percent larger than Budget 2021 and will include the first withdrawals (in the amount of $126.7 billion) to be made in keeping with the new and strengthened legislative framework governing the 2021 Natural Resources Fund (NRF) Act. This amount from the NRF will be transferred to the Consolidated Fund. Importantly, Budget 2022 is being financed without the introduction of any new taxes and without excessive borrowing.

Key measures in Budget 2022 include a strong focus on Local Content and Job Creation especially in keeping with the December 2021 Local Content Act passed in the National Assembly, support for renewal of the industrial and commercial transport fleet, Removal of 14 % VAT from cranes, safety equipment and oil spill response equipment, Removal of 2 percent withholding tax on resident contractors to reverse the punitive measures implemented by the previous Administration, Easing the Cost of Living through the extension of the application of the freight cost adjustment for the calculation of import taxes, a further excise tax rate reduction on gasoline and diesel from 20 percent to 10 percent, Support for the vulnerable through the introduction of a Dialysis Support Programme to finance treatment for dialysis patients, an increase in the monthly Public Assistance payment from $12,000 to $14,000, an increase in Old Age Pension from $25,000 to $28,000, increasing disposable income through a $25,000 ‘Because We Care’ cash grant for each child attending both private and public school and an increase in the monthly income tax threshold from $65,000 to $75,000.

CDB has granted No-objection for Linden to Mabura Road Project- Finance Minister announces

Georgetown, Ministry of Finance, February 3, 2022:– Senior Minister in the Office of the President with Responsibility for Finance Dr. Ashni Singh has announced that the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) today issued its no objection for negotiations to commence with the most responsive bidder, Construtora Queiroz Galvao S.A. from Brazil for the award of the Linden to Mabura Hill upgrade project .This project is the first link of the highway between Linden and Lethem. It would provide major support to ease of travel, trade and general connectivity between Guyana and Brazil and open vast opportunities by linking Guyana’s hinterland communities to Georgetown.

The process leading to the award of this contract followed a stringent and transparent procurement process whereby the call for proposals for the prequalification of contractors was made in February 2021. Ten (10) Contractors were prequalified and the prequalified list of contractors was approved by the CDB in October 2021.

Following the prequalification phase, the bidding process began in October 2021 and concluded in December 2021. Of the 10 prequalified Contractors, the following 5 made submissions: China Gezhouba Group Company Limited, China Railway International Group & China Railway No.10 Engineering Group Co., Ltd., Shandong Luqiao Group Co., Ltd., OECI S.A. (OECI) in JV with Castilho Engenharia E Empreendimentos S.A. (CEE) and Construtora Queiroz Galvao S.A.

The bids were carefully scrutinized and evaluated by a team of local engineers. After a thorough evaluation process involving engagements and consultations with the Caribbean Development Bank, Consultant Mott MacDonald and other specialists, Bid No. 5 , Construtora Queiroz Galvao S.A , was determined as the most responsive bid indicating full compliance with all Environmental, Social, Health and Safety requirements. The CDB indicated its concurrence with the recommendation of the Guyanese evaluation committee and issued it no-objection to commence negotiations with the winning bidder.

This project will be the largest project ever funded by the Caribbean Development Bank; and one of the most historic projects undertaken in Guyana.

The road works include upgrading the existing alignment to Asphaltic Concrete Surface – 2 Lanes, 7.2m width, approximately 122Km and the inclusion as well of five drainage structures.

Construtora Queiroz Galvao S.A is a large Brazilian Contractor established in 1966. The Company specializes in the construction of refineries, roads, bridges, commercial offices, residential buildings, highways, and sewage systems worldwide.