No incentives for economic growth
Guyanese economy has now lost its ability to grow at five per cent. How did this happen over the last 3½ years (2014-mid 2017)? The last time Guyana grew above five per cent was in the year 2013 (5.2 per cent).
If we retrace our steps to the period 1991-2013 (starting with Hoyte’s time), we will see that during this period, Guyana experienced measurable progress in poverty reduction, strong job creation and real income growth for the average resident. But all of this changed in 2014 under Ramotar and has gotten worst since the arrival of Granger. Is this five per cent growth irretrievably lost?
Does this mean that the ‘good life’ is a myth once Granger is in power?
Between 1991 and 2013, Gross Domestic Product per capita expanded 10 times over. Let me be absolutely clear about what I am saying here. The wealth of the average Guyanese resident expanded 10 times in size over those 22 years. The facts are there to prove that every President from Hoyte to Jagdeo did a phenomenal job at expanding the economy. Ramotar, fortunately, benefited from the Jagdeo steam but that was a strategy and by 2014, it had evaporated.
In my books, it all comes down to leadership. In the hallowed halls of the Office of the President, more people are concluding that Ramotar and Granger are the Mutt and Jeff in the annals of Guyana’s presidential history because they collective did so little to advance Guyana economically.
But to expose where Granger is taking the nation, the International Monetary Fund in its latest staff paper projected that the growth forecast for the period 2017 to 2019 will be a measly average of 3.5 per cent. We can safely say that the Guyanese economy ran into its reserve tank under Ramotar, but today under Granger all the gas has evaporated.
I spoke to a Guyanese-born Floridian economist who told me that in
conversations he had with Candidate Granger before May 2015, he found him to be very financially dull. Well, I do not have to talk to Granger to find that out, one just has to look at the performance of the real sectors under his leadership and the economy in general, and you can quickly conclude that as the Head of State, he is critically clueless on his responsibilities to the people.
While the Granger apologists like to claim that they are bringing an end to the drug economy, the actual facts proved that since he came to power, labour-productivity growth has plummeted to its lowest point since the dark PNC days of 1983-1984 under Burnham. But to add salt to the people’s wounds, there are very little incentivisation measures being rolled out to feed the growth machine – the Private Sector.
If you want to drive new investments you have to do something about the corpo- ration tax rates. If you want to drive labour productivity, you have to save jobs (not send home 10,000 sugar workers) and leave more money in the worker’s pockets. If you want to motivate a nation, put them in their own homes. Irfaan Ali placed six times as much Guyanese from all races into their own homes compared to this Granger Administration. Can we see why this five per cent has disappeared under Granger
If we allow this Granger Team to destroy this natural five per cent growth rate, then a lot that we have enjoyed over those 22 years in this ‘Dear Land of Guyana’ will be destroyed. This current economic implosion happening in Guyana does not hold any prisoners – all will be consumed, even if you have a PNC card.
Regards, Sase Singh