No in­cen­tives for eco­nomic growth

Weekend Mirror - - EDITORIAL -

Dear Ed­i­tor,


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

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