As presentations on the Petroleum Commission Bill continue, Minister of Natural Resources Raphael Trotman has disclosed that he intends to approach Cabinet to make changes to the Bill which has already advanced to a second reading in the National Assembly.
Trotman told reporters on Thursday that the amendments to the Bill, once approved by Cabinet, will seek to have more opposition and civil society representation on the Commission along with the Minister’s powers being dissolved.
Ahead of the 2020 production of oil, Trotman said he has paused the progress of the Bill in the National Assembly as more recommendations come in.
“I am going to Cabinet for changes to be made which will be the devolution of the powers for the Minister and for it to be more inclusive for members of civil society and the political opposition,” he explained.
The Ministers said he has noted the concerns over the Minister’s powers while noting that he will not be the Minister of Natural resources forever.
“I have no desire to hold on to power, but we were using the model of the GGMC and Forestry,” he added.
The Bill was first laid in the National Assembly in May 2017 and gave title to an Act to provide for the establishment and functions of the Petroleum Commission of Guyana and for related matters.
The six- part Bill has 51 sections which cover areas pertaining to the establishment and incorporation of the Petroleum Commission, functions and duties of the Commission, and financing among others.
The Petroleum Commission Bill makes provision for the establishment of a Petroleum Commission to serve as a regulatory agency for Guyana’s oil and gas industry. It will also provide for the monitoring and regulation of the sector.