MoU signed for $900M revolving fund to set stage for boosted forestry production

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana
Ministers Ashni Singh and Vickram Bharrat with DBL General Manager Dowlat Parbhu

The Guyana Government and Demerara Bank on Thursday inked its collaborative efforts to activate a $900 million revolving fund for increased production in the forestry sector, with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

With this funding, Government and the Guyana Forestry Commission would be able to assist in the enhancement and expansion of small and medium-scale loggers; and meet the growing demands.

From the arrangement, Demerara Bank will contribute $600 million while Government will put the remaining $300 million from its coffers. Through a four percent interest rate, stakeholders will be prequalified based on recommendations from the Commission, followed by a mechanism for them to access financing for greater production.

Senior Minister with Responsibility for Finance, Dr Ashni Singh said at the signing ceremony that this funding will be deployed for affordable lending and ensure that the Guyanese economy is not dependent on one sector.

“Naturally, given the exciting developments that are unfolding in the oil and gas sector, oil and gas will be driving a lot of the exciting economic growth that we’re seeing in Guyana…Notwithstanding the incredible, exciting developments that are happening in oil and gas, we feel very strongly about ensuring a vibrant, competitive, dynamic, and rapidly growing non-oil economy,” the Minister expressed.

These sectors include mining, forestry, agriculture, tourism among others. Moreover, Dr Singh said partnering with the financing and non-financial private sector bodies epitomizes Government’s drive to ensure development for the entire country.

Natural Resources Minister Vickram Bharrat shared that this is in keeping with Government’s commitment to working with the non-oil sectors. Upon entering office in 2020, he reminded that access to financing was a major concern for stakeholders as well as concessions; as the Guyana Forestry Commission was battling to stay afloat amid bankruptcy.