GUYANA: VP Jagdeo is Guyana’s Finance Minister- Dr. Ashni Singh is his assistant

Jan 30, 2022 – Kaieteur News

Dr. Ashni Kumar Singh has, since the People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) administration took Office back in August 2020, presented three successive Budgets to the National Assembly for approval.

Dr Ashni Singh for all intents and purposes has been the substantive face for the Irfaan Ali led PPP/C administration’s finance portfolio.

His official appointment however, is not Minister of Finance. That position is substantively held by Vice President, Bharrat Jagdeo, a distinction confirmed on Friday when the administration announced a new $2,000 note denomination for circulation.

Photo: The real Finance Minister is Bharrat Jagdeo with Ashni Singh.       

Former Minister within the Ministry of Finance, Jaipaul Sharma of the ousted coalition government, has been a lone voice repeatedly calling for Jagdeo’s portfolio to be clearly outlined. It was Sharma, who this past week brought to the attention of the public, via his Facebook page, a bit of useful information nestled in a Gazetted Order.

According to the Gazetted Order of February last year, Head-of-State President, Irfaan Ali, in a letter to the Governor of the Central Bank, Dr. Gobin Ganga, outlined the Vice President’s responsibility in relation to his government’s finance portfolio.

In that letter, the President noted, “I, hereby, with immediate effect authorise Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo, Vice President, who has specific oversight responsibilities for finance to oversee the design (including signing) and issuance of notes and coins required under Section 23(1) of the Bank of Guyana Act No. 19 0f 1998.”
The notes have since been signed by Vice President Jagdeo, as can be seen on specimen of the new bill, in accordance with the section of the law outlined by President Ali.


PHOTO: The Official Gazetted order signed by the President outlining his Vice President’s role

That section of the law provides for ‘Characteristics of Currency’ and reads, “The denominations, inscriptions, form, material and other characteristics of the notes and coins shall be determined by the Bank with the approval of the Minister.”

Notable, the currency under the law has to be approved by the Minister. Dr. Singh’s official portfolio is Minister within the Office of the President, with responsibility for Finance.

Appositely, the President has since clarified that the Vice President’s role as having, “specific oversight responsibilities for finance” under the law—a law which references the substantive Minister of Finance.

This publication reported yesterday that in honour of Guyana’s 55 years of independence, the Central Bank will soon introduce a $2000 bank note.

It is set to feature the Guyana Flag to reflect the nation’s strong sense of identity, the Wai-Wai pattern as a show of respect for the country’s indigenous heritage, and six children that represent the inherent ethnic races while serving as a symbol of President, Irfaan Ali’s “One Guyana” vision.

PHOTO: The specimen for the yet to be circulated $2000 note.

Kaieteur News understands that the new denomination will be printed on a substrate called polymer that is already popular around the world for its security features, durability, cleanliness, and low impact on the environment.

Speaking briefly with this newspaper Friday, Central Bank Governor, Dr. Gobind Ganga said the $2000 note was chosen for easy integration into the system. He said its features are also in keeping with the Head-of-State’s push for a “One Guyana.”
This newspaper understands that the note goes into circulation next month.

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  • brandli62  On 02/03/2022 at 3:01 am

    “Dr. Singh’s official portfolio is Minister within the Office of the President, with responsibility for Finance.”

    Only possible in Guyana. A Finance Minister (VP Jagdeo), who is in full control but delegates his official duties including the presentation of the national budget to a subordinate. If things wrong, it will be Ashni Singh fault.

    Maybe we should add the following, too:

    Dr. Irafaan Ali official portfolio is President within the Office of the Vice President Jagdeo, with no real responsibilities.

  • Georgy Porgy  On 02/03/2022 at 6:40 am

    And the circus continue in Guyana. Just remember to follow the money Guyanese!!! There are trillions at stake!!!

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