Finance Minister, Dr. Ashni Singh today signaled that this Thursday’s sitting of Parliament is critical for matters relating to the Amaila Falls project. Two matters up for discussion on Thursday 18th July include:
- A motion to increase the debt ceiling.
- Amendments to the Hydro Electric Act
Government over the last few weeks has maintained a close engagement with the opposition, particularly APNU. A multitude of critical documents have been shared on a confidential basis. Despite repeated invitations the AFC has declined Government’s overtures on the Amaila project. However, last Thursday, a group of AFC members engaged the GPL Board and management on matters relating to GPL and Amaila Falls.
Thursday’s scheduled debate of the motion and bill relating to Amaila follows a deferral of the said debate from June 27th to the new date following a request by APNU.
Decisions on the matters at the upcoming Parliament meeting are critical to ensuring that the IDB timetable for Board’s consideration of the transaction is achieved. Government officials have indicated that key documents pertaining to the environmental studies of the project have been published on the Bank’s website (http://idbdocs.iadb.org/wsdocs/getdocument.aspx?docnum=37866620) in keeping with the mandatory 120-day Pelosi requirement before being voted on by the US chair on the board. This requirement satisfies one of the key conditional ties for the project to be voted on by the Bank’s Board of Directors at the end of October.
Government has engaged key stakeholders including the opposition during key points of the project’s development. In early last year, Sithe Global made presentations to the media, private sector groups, and opposition parties. Various meetings were also convened at the Office of the President for presentation to the opposition in March 2012, March 2013 and most recently in June of this year.
Without Parliamentary support, Minister Singh expressed the concern that in the absence of timely parliamentary support, progress with the Amaila project could be threatened as critical deadlines are looming and expiration dates on certain commitments expire this year.
Minister of Finance