Finance Minister Winston Jordan and World Bank Country Director for the Caribbean, Tahseen Khan…to provide technical assistance to oil & gas sectorThe Government of Guyana has inked another loan agreement, this time with the World Bank, which will be providing funds and support for Guyana to build its framework for overseeing the oil and gas sector.According to a statement from the Finance Ministry, the loan agreement was signed by Finance Minister Winston Jordan on Thursday with World Bank Country Director for the Caribbean, Tahseen Khan.“Minister Jordan noted the timely nature of the loan agreement as it sought to provide much-needed technical assistance to the emerging oil and gas sector,” the statement observed, adding that the money would build human resource capacity and strengthen institutional frameworks in the oil and gas sector.“Ms Khan said that the loan agreement will aid in building the capacity of key institutions, such as the Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Ministry of Finance, for prudent management of the oil revenues.”Jordan was accompanied by Governor of the Bank of Guyana, Dr Gobind Ganga, Guyana’s Ambassador to USA Dr Riyad Insanally and Jason Fields from the Embassy of Guyana.Last year, a total of $333.2 million in capital funds was allocated by the Government for petroleum and energy management. The 2019 Budget estimates also detailed that current expenditure.This amount, among other things, which will go towards employment and other recurrent costs was $90.9 million. Specifically, wages and salaries were expected to cost the Treasury $20.5 million.With little over a year to go before first oil, Government has been criticised for the slow pace of preparation. For instance, critical measures like a national oil spill strategy; a constitutional agency to regulate the sector; a national oil company, a local content policy and a Sovereign Wealth Fund are either still in the planning stages or have only been discussed.This does not include several worrying fiscal indicators which have caused audit firm Ram and McRae to project reduced earnings from first oil for Guyana if these trends are allowed to continue.One such trend is the Government’s fiscal deficit, a case where monies are sourced more from loans than from revenue. According to the firm in its Budget Focus, Guyana risks less money going towards the Natural Resources Fund and more going towards making up for the deficit.When it comes to debt, it was only in February that Government announced it had signed two new loans with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), totalling US$31 million; monies that Government said will go towards areas of trade and energy.This was revealed by Minister of State Joseph Harmon during a press conference. Harmon revealed that Finance Minister Jordan signed the agreements on February 11.Part of the monies includes financing for a single window trade system which is meant to simplify transactions. Monies will also go towards improving service from the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) and other energy-related expenses.As of 2017, Guyana had a total public debt of $344.9 billion. According to the 2017 edition of the Public Debt Annual Report, this was an increase of 4.4 per cent in one year.Even though Guyana’s indebtedness to external creditors has increased, so has debt servicing (repayments). According to the Bank of Guyana Quarterly Report and Statistical Bulletin released last year, repayment of external debt grew by some US$24.3 million to US$85.3 million. This is a rate of 59.1 per cent when compared to the corresponding period of 2017.
Yes Equality are hoping for a large turn-out.‘Yes Equality Donegal’ held a volunteer day yesterday (Sat) in Letterkenny’s Institute of Technology. Over 50 people from across the county were in attendance to find out ways in which they can become involved in the referendum campaign.‘Yes Equality’ is a national campaign platform which is working towards securing a Yes vote in the Marriage Equality Referendum this coming May, which will allow gay and lesbian couples equal access to civil marriage. “One of the things that we are keen to stress is that this is a campaign for civil marriage,” said Sinead Murray, one of the coordinators in Donegal, who also runs BreakOut, an LGBT youth group in Letterkenny.“We want voters to be absolutely clear that a Yes vote on May 22nd will in no way affect religious and church-based weddings. We are campaigning for equal access for all people to civil marriage – the kind that takes place in registry offices throughout the country on a daily basis.”People traveled from all over the county to attend the volunteer day on Saturday where they were given workshops on fundraising and canvassing.“Today was just the beginning of our campaign in Donegal. We will be canvassing in every corner of the county from now until the day of the referendum,” said Declan Meehan, another coordinator of the ‘Yes Equality’ campaign. “We want to get talking to everyone in Donegal, to answer their questions and address any concerns they might have. We want people to go into the polling booth on May 22nd confident that they are making the right choice when they vote Yes.”Yes Equality Donegal has the largest regional group in the country and they have big plans for the coming nine weeks, with fundraisers and public meetings planned county-wide. It was launched by Gaelic footballer Eamon McGee last month. Ireland will be the first country in history to have the chance to write marriage equality into their constitution by public referendum.“Voter turnout is crucial to this referendum passing,” said Noel Sharkey, one of the founders of the group. “Yes Equality is the family values campaign and we want people to vote yes for their lesbian and gay loved ones. A resounding ‘Aye’ from Donegal will show the country how dearly we, the people of Donegal, hold these family values.”Anyone who is interested in getting involved with the campaign can get in touch via the Yes Equality Donegal Facebook page or by emailing email@example.com.‘YES EQUALITY’ WORKING HARD FOR HUGE TURNOUT IN DONEGAL FOR REFERENDUM was last modified: March 22nd, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)