During yesterday’s discussion of the Production Credit Fund Act, Assembly member Melvin Bouva (NDP) inquired about the Minister of Finance for the hundredth time. The president has yet to choose a new minister following the resignation of former Finance and Planning Minister Armand Achaibersing. Various laws pertaining to this department are being discussed in the meantime. In many instances, the observer of Finance is also not present in parliament.
Bouva inquired about the funding that will be allocated to the fund. Bouva suggested regulating it by legislation and including a specific amount of GDP. He recommended a starting point of SRD 50 million. The finance minister is in charge of this statute, but there is no minister, according to Bouva. “When will a finance minister be appointed? There are numerous plans being developed since we’ve been through this far too often. Then a new minister shows up and things start to change. Why is picking a finance minister so challenging? Are we really serious about the country’s government?” questioned Bouva.
The price of the US dollar continues to increase and is currently at SRD 32. Bouva inquired as to the status of the course. He claimed that in this environment, you may have a lot of manufacturing funds. Because the prerequisites must be met, it will not work. According to Bouva, “We are going to contribute money to the fund, but we won’t get the money back.”
Bouva argued for openness and transparency in a similar manner. Additionally, he demanded clarification regarding the partnership between NV Havenbeheer and Phoenix Development Company in the building of the Port of Nickerie. He claims that there has been an investment of US$ 5.3 billion, the source of which is unknown. Bouva noted that while the government is silent on this issue, simulating production also has to do with transparency.
In light of investing extra money from the fund, Stephen Tsang (NDP) also questioned the legality of the situation. He enquired as to whether the fund has a financial incentive. What if most of the resources have been invested and there aren’t enough left to support entrepreneurs? Tsang emphasized that any competent bank manager would invest resources in Open Market Operations to cause it to double in size within months. “Who then will make loans to SMEs? It ought to be done by law, Tsang said.