Guyana eligible for US$8.2M poverty credit
-but procurement practices must be improved

Stabroek News
April 22, 2003

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Guyana is eligible for another poverty reduction strategy credit from the World Bank but would first have to effect new procurement procedures including the National Procurement and Tender Board and the Public Procurement Commission among other initiatives.

The World Bank has identified US$25M in zero interest credits for Guyana since last September of which US$16.8M was released late last year with US$4.76M for technical assistance.

The remaining US$8.2M is to be released as part of the Poverty Reduction Strategy Credit (PRSC) II before the end of 2005. The credits are available upon completion of set targets.

Among the triggers for the release of the new credit would be passage of a new Audit Act, a new Forests Act, institution of a dividend payment scheme for Guysuco, modifying the cane payment system legislation as well as putting in place a new institutional framework for the sugar industry and lower labour costs in that sector by basing remuneration and bonuses on inflation and productivity gains. The current management contract is also to be modified with performance indicators shifted to profitability.

The government would also be required to implement the study on the co-ordination of the public investment programme and the government budget; continue wage adjustments in line with a formula based on inflation and productivity; implement reforms of the local government commission such as providing the public with access to the financial records, minutes and voting records; and develop a simple formula based system for providing subventions to local government units.

It would be required to develop a timetable for the implementation of findings of the tax reform study by the IMF fiscal affairs department; effect 100% cost recovery in the water sector and create a hinterland unit in the Guyana Water Inc. Targets in the education sector include promoting stakeholders participation at the school level via school boards and other mechanisms; and increasing the number of trained teachers through pre-service and in-service training.

In the health sector, management arrangements for the implementation of the HIV/AIDS programme have to be established with project documents prepared for World Bank financing under the regional programme.

All the targets under PRSC 1 were met for the release of the US$12M

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