(CMC) – The Guyana government Friday said it had signed a US$20 million loan with the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) for financing the Guyana Power and Light Incorporated (GPL Inc.) Power Utility Upgrade Programme (PUUP).
The agreement was signed by Finance Minister Winston Jordan and the Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, speaking at the end of the weekly Cabinet meeting, told reporters that the accord was discussed by Cabinet.
“The Honourable Minister of Finance submitted to cabinet the external loan agreement executed by the government of Guyana and the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), for the sum of US $20M to finance the power utility’s programme. Cabinet approved the loan agreement and directed that it be laid in the National Assembly in accordance with Section 3:6 of the External Loans Act Chapter 74:08 of the Laws of Guyana.”
Jordan said that the loan is part of the utility company’s Upgrade Programme, a component of its development and Expansion Programme for 2014 to 2021 and that the agreement is the first loan to be given to Guyana by the IsDB.
“It cemented our growing relationship and the proactive use of the indicative resource envelope for Guyana,” he said, adding that the loan agreement incorporates necessary reforms and upgrades to reduce losses and improve the quality and reliability of electricity supply.
Jordan said it would at the same time help to transform Guyana’s infrastructural landscape, boost the country’s manufacturing sector and improve the quality of life of citizens.
“The United Nations 2030 Agenda espouses aspirations for human dignity. Undoubtedly, the objective is ‘to leave no one behind’. This laudable objective is in keeping with the principles of the Islamic Development Bank.
“It is also the cornerstone of my government’s approach to development. This, is perhaps, why we have been able to establish such a close working relationship, in such a short period,” Jordan said, noting that the agreement could not have come at a more opportune time.
“This was especially since, Guyana is on the cusp of a historic transformation with the recent discovery of over 4 billion barrels of oil.”
Harmon said the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has described Guyana’s medium-term economic prospects as “very favourable” and predicted gross domestic product (GDP) will grow by 29.1 per cent in 2020.
“The IMF has commended us on our “prudence and restraint towards borrowing in anticipation of future oil revenues”. As such, our public debt stood at a highly sustainable 52.2 per cent of GDP at the end-2017.”