GSDS will guarantee transparent management of oil wealth

− Min. Jordan says draft GSDS completed

− GSDS to ensure oil revenues are channelled into productive public investments

DPI, Guyana, Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan, during his 2019 National Budget presentation, announced that the draft Green State Development Strategy (GSDS) is complete.

According to the Finance Minister, the GSDS: Vision 2040 will guide national development policies for the next 20 years. This vision for Guyana’s development, he noted, is inclusive and prosperous.

“[It] provides a good quality of life for all its citizens, based on sound education and social protection, low carbon and resilient development, providing new economic opportunities, justice and political empowerment.”

With the promise of significant petroleum revenues in the near future, Minister Jordan said the GSDS comes at an important stage in Guyana’s development – one that can have an immediate impact on our national accounts. However, he made it clear that the Government is aware of the risks and the need to prudently manage these resources over future generations. This will be accomplished through “[a] sound fiscal and monetary policy [and] through the Natural Resource Fund Act.”

“Government will be working towards an institutional transition that guarantees that our oil wealth is transparently managed to secure a stable future and source of public revenue. We will ensure that these revenues are channelled into productive public investments without causing   disruption or imbalance in Guyana’s economy: for example, by designing and implementing a medium-term expenditure framework to support long-term public spending priorities.”

The Coalition Government acknowledges that economic development must not be at the expense of the environment, therefore, resource extraction will be guided by evidence-based sustainability guidelines in keeping with the ‘green state’ principles.

Minister Jordan said this would ensure that our natural resources are protected for future generations and that we maximise social benefits for workers and local communities.

The National Assembly was then assured that the Strategy will focus on modernising the traditional sectors, stimulating expansion in high-growth sectors and developing new high value-adding sectors such as tourism, business process outsourcing and agro-processing.

“Together, these actions will ensure that the economy can respond to and leverage new opportunities in the global shift to sustainable development. This economic transformation will be underpinned by investments in renewable power supply and efficient roads and infrastructure that reduce the day-to-day costs that businesses face, improve connections between the coast and the hinterland, and bring Guyanese-made products to global markets in a timely and efficient manner.”

The GSDS calls for improved monitoring of the performance of key public institutions, reviewing outdated business regulations and establishing clearer accountability systems, among other key features.

It also prioritises the transition to renewable and cleaner energy sources, greater energy efficiency in the building sector and achieving cleaner, more efficient modes of transport, so as to lower carbon emissions and save money.

The minister said the GSDS is built on existing and prior national strategies, such as the National Development Strategy, the Poverty Reduction Strategy, the Low Carbon Development Strategy, the Social Cohesion Strategy and the Cultural Policy, among others, whose principles remain relevant today.

The strategy was developed from a multi-layered, nationwide stakeholder consultation process which began in 2017 and involved 1,700 participants from 200 communities across Guyana’s ten administrative regions.

Stacy Carmichael.

Image: Jameel Mohamed.


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