OP releases privatisations report

The Office of the President (OP) yesterday presented a report of all privatisations done by the Privatisation Unit and National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL) over the years 1993 to 2012.

According to a statement issued by OP, the report had been recently approved by Cabinet. It is said to detail every transaction that NICIL and the Privatisation Unit handled under phase 2 of the Privatisation Programme started in July 1993 with the issuance of the PPP/C white paper on privatisation.

The report updates the 2008 report which came following the controversy over the Queens Atlantic Investments Inc. and its acquisition of the Sanata Textiles property.

“Government notes that despite the considerable criticism in various sections of the media and the Opposition, the various reports show that the transactions of NICIL/PU have been conducted in a transparent manner with over $24 billion being transferred to the Treasury since 1992. Since 2009, the Government’s policy has been to ensure that all accounts from 2002 for all of its companies are laid in Parliament. In this respect within the last few years, the Minister of Finance has laid in Parliament over 105 sets of accounts for NICIL and its subsidiaries,” the statement said.

According to the statement, the report summarises all of its transactions from 1993 to November 2012. It said that of a total of $25.6 billion in proceeds, $11.7 billion was paid to the Treasury. It said that $6.4 billion came in the form of capitalisation, for example, into Guyana Electricity Corporation and other entities – $4.8 billion went to NICIL and $2.6 billion went to other entities.

“The Government noted the substantial work of NICIL and the Privatisation Unit and the success of its stakeholder privatisation board which includes members of labour, consumer and the private sector. The Government also notes the substantial turnaround in state-owned entities relative to the 1990s, noting that since 2004, NICIL and all of its companies have been net contributors in terms of dividends, taxes, investments, employment without requiring Government funding, except in the case of electricity subsidies to consumers and NCN public programming component,” the statement said. It said too that almost $13 billion in dividends has been paid by NICIL to the Treasury.

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