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Guyana: “World Bank to redraft Petroleum Commission Bill”

THE World Bank has committed an expert to help Guyana redraft its Petroleum Commission Bill, Minister of Natural Resources Raphael Trotman has said.

This was disclosed following a meeting between the Minister of Natural Resources and the World Bank’s Country Director for Caribbean Countries and Latin America, Tahseen Sayed, and a technical team, at the Ministry’s Duke Street office on Tuesday.

Minister Trotman explained that the Bill, which was before a National Assembly Select Committee, has been delayed to facilitate input from the World Bank. “Those inputs came at the end of February. So, we discussed with them today (Tuesday) moving forward. They have committed to providing an expert to do the redraft,” Minister Trotman explained.

The Bill was first laid in the National Assembly in May 2017 and gives title to an Act to provide for the establishment, and functions of the Petroleum Commission of Guyana and for related matters.

The cost for the redraft will be covered by a World Bank US$20M loan, secured by the Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan. Minister Trotman noted that the World Bank “is also looking at retroactive financing … even before we get moneys from the loan.”
He said a redrafted or an entirely new Bill will be presented to the National Assembly by June 2018. The expert has reviewed the current bill and is redrafting it, taking into consideration stakeholder inputs and those of the World Bank. The minister assured that stakeholders will be consulted before the redrafted Bill is presented to the National Assembly.

Amid criticisms late last year that the Bill made provision for too much government control, Trotman had announced that government will revisit the legislation with the aim of ensuring that it illustrates transparency and is inclusionary.

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