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Aug 29, 2014

Update on PetroCaribe Initiative

There is another issue that came up this morning…the infrastructure works that are currently ongoing in many parts of the country which are funded through a twenty million dollar loan facility from Venezuela through the Petrocaribe initiative. There is one kink that is outstanding and that’s because the Finance and Audit Act requires that loans, ten million dollars and up be taken for approval of the National Assembly. The Prime Minister, who is also the Minister of Finance, was asked why the loan had not been tabled in the House.

 

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

Dean Barrow

“The question of whether this is something that needs to go to the national assembly in particular way is an issue to be looked at. Ultimately, I don’t think it much matters except perhaps just to ensure that we are in strict and fateful compliance with our regulatory requirements. The thing is that these monies go into the government’s account at Central Bank and are spent in a way that is extremely transparent with records to in fact account for every last penny of expenditure. More to the point, the people of this country are seeing the effects of the spending, are feeling the benefits of the tremendous infrastructure drive that is being financed by Petrocaribe. So I think we are all good.”

 

Reporter

“But again, rules exist for a reason and the Finance and Audit Act…”

 

Dean Barrow

“Yes man, but that’s a matter of how you interpret the rules. I might interpret them differently, but I am giving you this much. You have raised an issue that I will look at. Perhaps I have simply not paid enough attention to what you would suggest is required in the circumstances to be a scrupulous regard for the letter of the law. I will have a look at it.”

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