Govt warns against sidelining Private Sector, trade unions

first_imgThe unwise developmental initiatives advanced by “the political novices at the helm of the administration” have proven to be disastrous for the Guyana economy, says International Financial Analyst Sasenarine Singh.Former AFC Executive Member Sasenarine SinghLow private sector investments, poor export performance, declining remittances, poor implementation of the public sector investment programme, and low business confidence issues, among other things, have been the resultant effects, he said.A former Executive Member of the Alliance For Change (AFC), Sasenarine Singh has this past week presented a pre mid-term analysis of the coalition Government’s performance after now two years in office. During an exclusive interview with Guyana Times,Singh, who has since resigned from the AFC, one of the larger parties in the coalition government, told Guyana Times that Finance Minister Winston Jordan should be replaced with alacrity, since “what we have been getting from Minister Winston Jordan is uncoordinated and ultimately, ineffective responses to the broad set of macroeconomic challenges facing Guyana.”Lost in fogDismissing the bulk of the key players in the administration as political novices in office, Singh told <>, “We have to appreciate that when one has never managed any uncertainty of this magnitude, it can leave some people lost in the fog.”The financial analyst said the private sector and trade union bodies are key stakeholders in the development of any nation, and the David Granger Administration would do well to repair the widening rifts between these bodies and their relationship with Government.According to Singh, “This bulldog aloft attitude from the key players in the Granger Administration has to stop pronto. They must know their place; they are developmental novices compared to some of the key players in the private sector, in civil society, and even compared to some members on the Opposition benches.”The former AFC Executive was adamant, “You cannot bully and bamboozle your way into respectability; you must earn it.”Workers across the country celebrated Workers Day on May 1st, and in unison called on Government to come back to the bargaining table in regard to increases in wages, salaries and other remuneration for public servants.During that unified May Day Rally held at the National Park, Latoya Drakes, Executive member of the Guyana Labour Union (GLU), castigated the administration for its handling of the economy and its ever-increasing taxes.Drakes said young people are being confronted with increasing levels of unemployment and under-employment, and this “sad state of affairs has its origin in the steadily deteriorating economic circumstances which have gripped our country recently.”Shades of mediocrityIn his exclusive interview with Guyana Times for a pre mid-term assessment of the APNU +AFC Government, Singh suggested the only two persons in the Granger Cabinet “I have confidence in to move the economy forward is Carl Greenidge and Raphael Trotman…everyone else exhibits various shades of mediocrity, and have to earn their stripes in the society, especially Minister Jordan.”Turning his attention to solutions, the financial analyst said the tasks of any Ministry of Finance are to overcome economic paralysis, which dooms a country, and present economic policies to begin to shape the future.According to Singh, what is required now more than ever from that Ministry is the provision of fiscal and regulatory incentives to motivate all of the six key drivers of the Guyana economy: gold, rice, sugar, timber, bauxite and seafoods, in order for these products to move up the value chain ahead of exports from Guyana.IMF/PowerOn the matter of energy and its link to Guyana’s woes and development alike, Singh told Guyana Times the President needs to pull together a new Amaila Falls Hydro Power negotiating team to re-engage the investors to put this project back on the front burner.“What this project will do is immediately start adding new foreign investments to the economy as soon as the first truck rolls into Guyana,” he explained. The financial analyst told Guyana Times, “By the completion of construction, this project will add new investments that aggregate to an average of 30 per cent of the GDP of Guyana in any one year… That is a lot of new US dollars in the economy.” According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), such an investment would likely convert to cumulative GDP growth of 6 per cent over the life of the project.“But the real beauty of this deal is 10 months of 165MW of lower cost and reliable green energy, which will shave some US$90M from the national fuel import bill…That means US$90M that were shipped off to Trinidad for fuel purchases for GPL will now remain in the Bank of Guyana to fund more relevant imports to drive economic expansion.” Singh is suggesting that immediate approval of the Power Purchase Agreement should be granted, so that the nation can benefit from some 26 MW of lower cost and more reliable green energy into the national grid within the next 12 months.last_img

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