Gov’t will administer Guyana’s resources Fairly-Minister Trotman as Petroleum Commission Bill sent to Select Committee
DPI/GINA, GUYANA, Thursday, June 15, 2017
Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo this evening accused the Parliamentary Opposition of seeking to sell “negativism, and pessimism to Guyanese” after they dragged talks of the coalition government killing the rice and sugar industry into a debate on the Petroleum Commission of Guyana Bill 2017.
Minister of Natural Resources Raphael Trotman earlier in the evening moved the second reading of the Bill, but immediately after, indicated that he would be sending the legislation to a Special Select Committee for it to benefit from input from the Opposition and the industry stakeholders.
Despite this, each Opposition Speaker that followed Minister Trotman sought to make a case for the legislation to be sent to a Special Select Committee, accusing the government of rushing the Bill. They also accused the government of killing off the traditional sectors in a rush to get to the oil.
Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo rising to support Minister Trotman however noted that the Opposition’s “gloom and doom” comes at a time when they “want to wage war against everything good from the government and are trying to sell negativism, and pessimism to Guyanese.” “They will kill anything that seems to prosper in this country as they commit political “Hari Kari,” the Prime Minister said.
He denied claims that his government was trying to kill sugar and the rice industry noting it was the Opposition that created “a glorious white elephant in the Skeldon Estate.”
He expressed the hope that even after the Opposition’s riotous behaviour, they would support the Bill. He said the new Bill was actually an improved position compared to what the obtained.
Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo then arose to speak, even as Minister Trotman proposed that the debate be suspended and the Bill sent as proposed, to the Select Committee. After the Speaker intervened, Jagdeo was allowed to speak. He said he was happy that the Bill would be sent to a Select Committee, urging that, “What happened in the past may not be the best guide or practice which keeps evolving of an oil economy.” He cited the fact that bad management of oil resources have led to many countries being worse off. “The guide should not be what happened in the past but it should be international best practices,” Jagdeo urged.
Closing the debate, Trotman however described the Opposition Leader as a “Doctor of Doom.” He too recalled the failed Skeldon Estate which has cost the Guyanese tax payers more than US$280M thus far, the bankrupt Marriot International and the Berbice Bridge declaration internationally of Guyana as failed pariah state under Jagdeo’s watch several years ago.
The Minister said that the government refuses to be counselled on economic management by the likes of Jadgeo. He said that “the Opposition Leader has to remember that he is the leader of the Opposition and will remain as such.” “You are a failure that is why you are sitting over there…you’re irrelevant and your time is up,” Minister Trotman told the Opposition Leader. He said that the government was not going to do as the PPP/C did. “It isn’t monkey see, monkey do…we will administer Guyana’s resources fairly,” the minister pledged.
As per the Minister’s earlier statement, the Bill was sent to a Special Select Committee.
The Bill was first laid in the National Assembly in May, 2017 and give title to an Act to provide for the establishment and functions of the Petroleum Commission of Guyana and for related matters.
The six- part Bill has 51 Sections which cover areas pertaining to the establishment and incorporation of the Petroleum Commission, functions and duties of the Commission, and financing among others.
The Petroleum Commission Bill makes provision for the establishment of a Petroleum Commission to serve as a regulatory agency for Guyana’s oil and gas industry. It will also provide for the monitoring and regulation of the sector.
By: Macalia Santos