Prime Minister Keith Rowley was being most disingenuous in his assertion that the “HSF was put in place by the Manning Administration.” Someone can legally change their name but that does not mean that he/she is a new person!
At a PNM Public Meeting earlier this week, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley is quoted as saying, “The HSF (Heritage and Stabilization Fund) was put in place by the Manning Administration from the earnings of the NGC. That is how the HSF was created, and when we got into a pandemic, and even before, with what was happening with the earning from oil and gas, the Minister of Finance was taking out, every year, some money from the interest, not touching the capital.”
The Prime Minister was being most disingenuous and misleading in his assertion that the “HSF was put in place by the Manning Administration.”
In 2000, the Basdeo Panday led-UNC Administration created the Revenue Stabilization Fund. The primary objectives of the fund were to save and invest surplus petroleum production revenues to support and sustain public expenditures during periods of revenue downturn and to provide a heritage for future generations of the nation.
In March 2007, the Patrick Manning led-PNM Administration simply transferred the assets of the Revenue Stabilization Fund in a new fund – The Heritage and Stabilization Fund.
Someone can legally change their name but that does not mean that he/she is a new person. Between 2000 and 2007, US$1.788 Billion was accumulated into the Fund.
At the end of September 2010, four months after the People’s Partnership Government came into office, the Fund was valued at US$3.621 Billion.
At the end of September 2015, the Fund was valued at US$5.655 Billion. In their term in Government, the PP Administration would have deposited US$1,178 Billion into the fund.
At the end of September 2020, the Fund was valued at US$5.731 Billion.
At the end of March 2021 (the last figures available), the Fund was valued at US$5.661 Billion.
From September 2015 to March 2021, the Keith Rowley-led PNM Administration did not make a single contribution to the HSF but withdrew US$2.1 Billion.
Nonetheless, as of March 31, 2021, the Fund was valued at US$5.661 Billion, just slightly higher than what it was valued in September 2015.
The US$2.1 Billion that was withdrawn from the Fund was the accumulated interest which was earned as result of the market performance in which the fund is invested and NOT any strategy taken by this PNM administration.