Senate Defers Debate on Petroleum (Amendment) Act 2019

Jamaica News: The debate on the Petroleum (Amendment) Act, 2019, which opened in the Senate during Friday’s (June 28) sitting at Gordon House, has been deferred for completion at a later date.

It seeks to, among other things, transfer the rights and obligations of the PetroCaribe Development Fund (PDF) to the Government of Jamaica.

Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Senator the Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr., who piloted the proposed legislation, said it also seeks to integrate the PDF’s functions into the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, by repealing Part IIIA of the Petroleum Act.

In outlining details on the Fund, the Minister explained that it was established as a body corporate by the Government, pursuant to an amendment to the Petroleum Act in 2006.

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Under Part IIIA of the Petroleum Act, the Fund was charged with the responsibility of managing, among other things, the proceeds which accrued to Jamaica under the Energy Co-operation Agreement entered into between the Governments of Jamaica and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

Senator Charles said the PDF’s functions also included receiving loan repayments from borrowers from the Fund; receiving other proceeds which might accrue from the Fund’s investments; financing projects and programmes; and settling Jamaica’s debt service obligations for the purchase of oil and petroleum products under the PetroCaribe Agreement or any other bi-lateral arrangements between Jamaica and Venezuela.

He added that in this regard, “the PetroCaribe Fund has fulfilled its mandate”.

Senator Charles Jr. said Clause 3, repeals Part IIIA, and the Second and Third Schedules of the Petroleum Act, 2006.

“This amendment deletes the provisions of Part IIIA which, among other things, established the PetroCaribe Fund. This amendment also deletes the two Schedules which I noted, which outlines the constitution of the Fund and the constitution of the Board of Management respectively,” he said.

Senator Charles said sub-clause (1) of clause 4 specifies that any moneys held in any bank account in the name of, or standing credit of, the PetroCaribe Fund shall be credited to the Consolidated Fund.


Source: JIS News


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