Due diligence to be undertaken prior to funds being accessed from Islamic Bank Funds – Min. Jordan
DPI, Guyana, Monday, April 16, 2018
The Islamic Development Bank (ISDB) has provided the government with its largest ever resource envelope, which is yet to access. Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan, at his first 2018 media briefing, on April 13, reiterated that, contrary to what has been falsely claimed in some sections of the media, the government has not borrowed $900M from the ISDB.
“As I said, it’s a resource envelope. We will have to go through all the due diligence before we can access the even a small part of it.”
The Finance Minister explained that the hard work now lies with creating projects, in the various sectors identified, that could benefit from available funds. “All the studies that have to be done, feasibility, the environmental this and so on. Secondly, immediately once we borrow the money, we bring the contracts to parliament. We have no outstanding contract of any borrowed money, none.”
He stated that essentially new borrowing by the government, from May 2015 to December 31, 2017, is under US$210, o68,576, thus far. Some of these were a US$45.2M Chinese loan, an Indian US$50M for the Ogle bypass road and several others. These, when subtracted, leave the actual new loan figure at less than US$100M.
Minister Jordan said, “the message is rather than carrying stories to scare, I want you to keep this (information) so you can refer to it constantly when people are attempting to frighten the public into believing that the government is borrowing its way and leaving burdens for future generations. The facts speak for themselves.”
The Bank’s offer is available to Guyana for specific developmental sectors. These include energy, agriculture, rural development, human development, banking, and finance. It is the largest resource envelope ever made available to Guyana from any multilateral agency.
Membership of the Jeddah-based based ISDB, a multilateral lender dominated by Muslim-majority states including Saudi Arabia and Iran, will give Guyana access to loans at concessionary rates. In the long term, it could also encourage banks and companies from the Gulf and southeast Asia to do business in Guyana.
Guyana is the 57th country and the second from Latin America, after Suriname, to join the AAA-rated IDB, which aims to “foster the economic development and social progress of member countries and Muslim communities”.
By: Paul Mc Adam