Debt ceiling is now $50B after AFC amendments

Last Updated on Saturday, 26 December 2015, 21:01 by GxMedia

A reworked government motion to increase the debt ceiling from $1B to GUY$130B failed to garner opposition support with an amendment by the AFC dropping the figure to $50B in a marathon sitting of the National Assembly.

Government had last month tabled a motion to increase the guarantee on borrowing by public corporations from GUY$1B to GUY$150B but on Wednesday it submitted an amendment to lower the figure to GUY$130B.

Additionally, it tied the increased guarantee specifically to GPL’s Power Purchase Agreement with Sithe Global which would be operating the Amaila facility, a condition which had been suggested by the AFC.

But the AFC submitted amendments of its own with its proposed ceiling being GUY$50B, that it be tied to the Amaila project and be subjected to review by the National Assembly within three months if necessary.

AFC Leader Khemraj Ramjattan said his party was prepared to wait until potential financier IDB completed its due diligence on the project which is scheduled to end by October.

Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh argued that the government was merely being asked to stand as guarantor for any shortfall which may never happen. He added that the required guarantee was in the vicinity of GUY$130M.

The sitting which began at 3PM Wednesday ended at 3AM Thursday. The National Assembly will be heading into a two-month recess on August 10.