Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Guyana local content policy will be enshrined in law, Bharrat affirms

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Guyana’s Minister of Natural Resources, Vickram Bharrat has assured that by the end of this year the government will commence putting into legislation its Local Content Policy.

Vickram Bharrat

OilNOW understands that following the extended month-long consultations in March, a team from the Ministry of Natural Resources had met with several companies and interested stakeholders regarding the policy. During those sessions, the stakeholders were given the opportunity to provide feedback and/or any other contribution for the policy’s finalization, Mr. Bharrat noted.

“What we are doing now is finalizing the draft with fixed targets and timelines… Internally, we have the second draft that is being looked at from a policy level,” he said.

Once finalized, and the relevant stakeholders are satisfied with the policy, Mr. Bharrat said the Government will move to legislation. The Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Mohabir Anil Nandlall, will be responsible for drafting that legislation.

“This will not just be a policy,” the natural resources minister commented during the National Assembly’s 28th sitting on Friday. “It will be enshrined in the law which will compel companies to adhere to the local content measures and targets that we set out in the policy.”

When the new government assumed office in August 2020, President Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali had established an Advisory Panel on Local Content. This panel was tasked with conducting expansive consultations along with devising recommendations that will inform the country’s Local Content Policy.

Tougher local content measures will be implemented if Guyanese are bypassed by oil companies, President warns

The panel comprised of Mr. Shyam Nokta, who held the position of Chairman; Economist Mr. Carl Greenidge; Professor Mr. Floyd Haynes; former Minister of Energy in Trinidad & Tobago, Mr. Kevin Ramnarine; former Chairman of the Public Service Commission (PSC), Mr. Carvill Duncan; Local Content and Energy Specialist, Mr. Anthony Paul; and the Ministry of Natural Resources Legal Officer, Ms. Sasha Rajkumar-Budhan.

Approximately 140 stakeholders were engaged in the compilation of the report that was prepared by the Advisory Panel. The Report outlined several recommendations to improve the country’s policies and legislation.

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