The APNU+AFC Opposition today called for the draft Petroleum Sharing Agreements for the deepwater and shallow-water blocks offshore Guyana to be placed before the National Assembly for a thorough review by a Parliamentary Select Committee.
The Government recently released the draft contracts while starting 14 days of consultation on the contents of the contracts.
Economic Advisor to the Leader of the Opposition, Elson Lowe today said there is clearly a need for more time for consultation and he believes the documents should be laid in the National Assembly.
“For the government to allow a measly two weeks for public comments is simply ridiculous and disdainful of the people of Guyana, the owners of the country’s natural endowment. We hereby call for the PSA to be laid in the National Assembly and to be reviewed by a select committee and for at least two months for public submissions and discussions,” Mr Lowe said.
The Opposition is of the view that it is impossible to consult a wide cross section of the Guyanese people in two weeks on the technical document.
Mr. Lowe said it would appear that the Government has developed a pattern of rushing documents. He made reference to the Natural Resources Fund Act, which he said was rushed through the National Assembly despite objections from the Opposition and Civil Society groups.
“The new Petroleum exploration and production Bill must not be similarly rushed through parliamentary and public oversight. Instead of this contemptuous approach to the Guyanese public and the National Assembly, we believe that at least 60 days should be given for comments and objections, when dealing with agreements, investment codes, and laws this vital,” he said.
The Opposition intends to move a motion in the National Assembly demanding that consultations on matters of national importance be codified by law.
Under the proposed PSAs, operators in the Deepwater and Shallow water Offshore Blocks, upon being issued their licenses, would be required to submit their work programme and budget to the Minister responsible for the petroleum sector for approval.
Additionally, in the model PSAs, the Government has proposed that the royalty on all petroleum produced and sold by the contractor be increased from 2%, as embedded in the Stabroek Block PSA, to 10%.
You must be logged in to post a comment Login