The Government continues to defend the controversial Natural Resource Fund Bill and has started a major public relations drive to justify the Bill and its contents.
Minister of Natural Resources Vickram Bharrat lashed out this afternoon at the Civil Society groups that called for the passage of the Bill to be delayed.
He said those Civil Society groups that have raised concern over the sweeping changes in the Natural Resource Bill together with the Opposition are against development.
“The whole issue behind the APNU+AFC and the few so-called civil society groups that are politically aligned, most of them probably don’t even have membership—is just a few persons running around as so-call civil society leaders. The whole issue with them is that they don’t want government get access to the oil revenue because they know we are going to use the revenue and we will to enhance the lives of every single Guyanese,” Minister Bharrat said.
The Minister believes that the the eight-day period which was given for the Bill to be scrutinized was well within Parliamentary standards.
Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh who presented the Bill to the Assembly believes many of the objections to the Bill are ill-informed and out of place.
“I would be interested to fill in the gap in my own recollection what was the position of these so-called civil society bodies and civic minded persons who hold themselves of to be this moral conscience of the nation,” the Finance Minister questioned.”
The Government has maintained that the Natural Resources Fund Bill is a ‘game changer’ and said it will not be phased by criticisms but remains focused on the task ahead.
The Ministers have also declared that they are not afraid of any legal challenge to the Bill since its actions in this regard are independent of the judiciary.