On January 23 this year, Guyana’s President, David Granger, signed the Natural Resources Fund (renamed from Sovereign Wealth Fund) into law. This was announced by Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, on Friday at a news conference at the Ministry of the Presidency in Georgetown.
“The legal framework for the fund includes provisions for public oversight management, the nature, and source of deposits, withdrawals, including Parliamentary approval and determination of amounts to be withdrawn,” he explained.
He noted that the eligibility of investments for its resources, accounting, reporting and auditing of its records and codes of conduct for members of its oversight investment committees will also be provisions outlined in the context of the fund.
Additionally, Mr. Harmon said, “The fund also sets out the ceilings for the investment of the natural resources fund with a purpose of long-term savings.”
He noted that the possible longterm investments that can be considered in the context of the fund are treasury bills, bank deposits, sovereign bonds, corporate bonds, equity, and commodities.
Harmon said too that the fund has outlined procedures and considerations that should obtain in calculating its fiscally obtainable amount.
This simply means that the new law sets out clear guidelines for how oil revenues are channeled through the fund as well as the amounts secured within the operations of the fund.
The fund was passed in the National Assembly in early January with minor amendments.
The new legislation follows the presentation of Government’s Green Paper titled “Managing Future Petroleum Revenues and Establishment of Fiscal Rule and a Sovereign Wealth Fund” to the National Assembly, in August last year.