ꟷ despite IMF warning Govt to settle balanceGeneral and Regional Elections are creeping closer and closer and the central bank’s overdraft of public funds keeps increasing in size— with the latest figures from the Bank of Guyana showing an overdraft of over $75 billion.The Bank of GuyanaAccording to the Bank of Guyana’s statement of Assets and Liabilities, the bank had a negative balance of $76.8 billion as of November 12, 2019. This is a situation that can lead to revenues, in particular, the oil revenues, being diverted.The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned about this situation since 2018, writing in its 2018 staff report that: “Staff reiterated and stressed the importance of settling these balances at the central bank, which the authorities agreed to do in the short-term through the issuance of Treasury Bills”.Public deposits at the central bank were plunged into overdraft status back in 2015 when the new coalition government ended the year with a $2.3 billion overdraft. When the Government took over in May 2015, they had met public deposits of approximately $10.4 billion.By 2016 year-end, the overdraft had grown to approximately $21.3 billion, after a year of increasing withdrawals. At the end of the 2017 fiscal year, the overdraft had reached 25.7 billion.In contrast, Bank of Guyana data shows that the bank’s public deposits were in the positive – $21.4 billion to be precise – at the end of 2014. In 2013, the bank’s deposits were $52.1 billion. And the preceding year, the funds were approximately $57.2 billion.While the drawdown on funds started under the previous administration, public deposits were built up to over $69 billion in the year 2010. Far from being built up under the current government, they have never been able to rise above the red.But with the coming oil revenue and the extra case it brings, Government has not appeared too worried about filling fiscal holes. It was previously reported that Finance Minister Winston Jordan when asked about replenishing the fallen foreign reserves, had said there was nothing to worry about with oil money coming in.Jordan had said that with the revenue the Government is expecting from first oil in 2020, the foreign reserves will be replenished. Since he made those comments in September, Exxon and its partners have started pumping oil since last year.“That is just a temporary situation, given our receipts that come in next year,” Jordan said. “And then subsequent to that. One of the reasons you have savings is that if you have need to use some, you do that and afterwards you replenish it as you pick up again.”“So essentially, I don’t know that people have to make an alarm over it. Imports are coming into the country, the exchange rate is relatively there, notwithstanding all the pressure on the regime itself.”“Despite all of that, we are still there. It would be something of a concern if we didn’t have on the horizon foreign exchange coming to replenish, stabilise and grow (the fund),” Jordan had said.
A clear commitment on the future of long-stay beds at Ramelton, St. Joseph’s and Lifford Community Hospitals is required from the Government, Deputy Charlie McConalogue told the Dáil this week.Questioning Junior Minister for Health, Jim Daly, in the Dáil on Thursday, Deputy McConalogue outlined how the Government has so far failed to give a clear assurance that the funding necessary to maintain and expand long term residential beds at the three hospitals would be forthcoming.“There has been genuine concern about the future of long stay beds at the hospital since the Health Capital Plan for Services was first published by Minister Kathleen Lynch in January 2016. That plan had outlined how these hospitals would have their long term residential beds “replaced” by the planned new Letterkenny Community Hospital and did not provide for any funding for them”, said Deputy McConalogue. “These community hospitals provide much needed long term residential as well as step down care, taking people out of acute hospital settings and ensuring that they receive the care they need in their own locality, near to their friends and family. They are an important service in our local healthcare system and it is essential that they are fully supported at government level.“Members of the local community served by Ramelton, St Joseph’s and Lifford made it crystal clear that they will not accept any removal of long term bed capacity when Minister Daly attended a public meeting in Ballybofey in February of this year.”Deputy Charlie McConalogue said that a plan has now been put together by the HSE at local level which outlines the works necessary to ensure that bed capacity at Ramelton and St Joseph’s is at least maintained, and clarifies that a new build is required for Lifford.“However the government has yet to follow through and has failed to make a clear commitment that this funding will be made available in upcoming capital plans, and importantly that long term bed capacity will be retained and enhanced in to the future. “I await the update Minister Daly promised to issue in his Dáil response this week and will be seeking that the government follows through and commits to the long term future of the three hospitals”, concluded Deputy McConalogue.Clear commitment needed on the future of three Community Hospitals was last modified: June 29th, 2018 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)