‒ The choice is ours to stand up – We must have the courage

Weekend Mirror - - EDITORIAL - By Dr. Pe­ter R. Ram­sa­roop

Sum­mary;

Daily, we are bom­barded by the scan­dals, cor­rup­tion and plain dic­ta­to­rial de­ci­sions by the APNU+AFC Govern­ment. We have ex­pe­ri­enced over the last 30 months, ex­or­bi­tant salary in­creases for Min­is­ters, while pub­lic ser­vants this year will re­ceive no bonuses at Christ­mas. The sad­ness in many fam­i­lies can be felt all across our land. We have seen the $10,000 grant taken away from our fam­i­lies that the PPP ad­min­is­tra­tion had in­sti­tuted. There is a mas­sive slump in our econ­omy, where real jobs in the su­gar in­dus­try are be­ing elim­i­nated with cat­a­strophic con­se­quences for those di­rectly af­fected and scant re­gard for their wel­fare by those cur­rently run­ning the show.

The de­ci­sion to uni­lat­er­ally ap­point the GECOM Chair­man, with the sup­port of the AFC, is the lat­est glar­ing ex­am­ple of ‘we don’t carry a damn phi­los­o­phy, we will just do what we like with no care for the enor­mous dam­age that is be­ing done to all sec­tions of so­ci­ety’.

To add in­sult to in­jury, the AFC said that they were not involved in the de­ci­sion-mak­ing process only to find out later that they were up to their necks in it. As ev­i­dence of how this coali­tion’s du­plic­ity is un­fold­ing, we are find­ing that the bit­ter­ness of those who have ‘jumped ship’, se­duced by dis­pro­por­tion­ately high min­is­te­rial of­fice, are now will­ing to heed the master’s call even though they have spent years fight­ing with us to re­store true democ­racy af­ter the hor­rors of rigged elec­tions.

Their re­ward is to con­tinue to hold min­istries in which they have failed the na­tion, the most prom­i­nent ex­am­ple be­ing the prison es­capes saga. In other coun­tries, the Min­is­ter re­spon­si­ble for such crass in­ef­fi­ciency would be fired, But not in Guyana where cor­rec­tive ac­tion is shack­led by hold­ing to­gether a flimsy coali­tion.

As the PPP Mo­tion on the 2018 bud­get em­pha­sizes, the al­most 200 new tax mea­sures in­creased govern­ment rev­enues by ap­prox­i­mately G$11.2 Bil­lion to G$97.1 Bil­lion by mid- 2017, of this to­tal, tax rep­re­sents G$85.8 Bil­lion, G$10.7 Bil­lion more when com­pared to 2016, thus cost­ing the peo­ple of this coun­try an ad­di­tional

Hope

There is a say­ing that what goes around comes around and those in power need to take heed of this. We all have to stay fo­cused on what will be needed to re­take our na­tion back to pros­per­ity. Al­though we may some­times feel de­pressed and wor­ried that our na­tion is fall­ing apart, we should re­gard this as a pass­ing phase; un­for­tu­nate, but un­der every cloud there is a sil­ver lin­ing.

We must con­tinue to have courage to stand up to what we be­lieve in - a truly demo­cratic na­tion, where all eth­nic groups work to­gether for a bet­ter life (not the bo­gus ‘good life’ promised by this govern­ment), one where we have economic sta­bil­ity and pros­per­ity, where our chil­dren can be nur­tured to work to­gether for a bet­ter and hap­pier Guyana.

As we walk our streets, sit with our fam­i­lies, speak to the party lead­ers, talk with the busi­ness peo­ple and pon­der our young peo­ple’s fu­ture, re­mem­ber, they are our to­day, this should give us the for­ti­tude to with­stand this govern­ment’s drive to stag­nate our lives and coun­try.

Vi­sion

Our economic vi­sion has to be ad­justed. We will once again be re­quired to fix the sys­tem; the debt has sky­rock­eted as it did in 1992. Once again, we will have to re­build our fi­nan­cial sys­tem.

We are ready to do this.

As our mo­tion in Par­lia­ment on the 2018 Bud­get in­di­cated, we will re­verse all the VAT items that were in­sti­tuted since 2015. We have sub­mit­ted pro­pos­als to stim­u­late the econ­omy. We all know they do not un­der­stand how to man­age our econ­omy.

Many of our projects that we have given to them will need very care­ful mon­i­tor­ing over the next two years and if they have not been pro­cessed we will need to take rad­i­cal steps to get them go­ing when we re­turn to govern­ment. Some are:

● The im­ple­men­ta­tion of ma­jor cap­i­tal projects to stim­u­late spend­ing in ac­cor­dance with the Pro­cure­ment Act and reg­u­la­tions; ● Re-com­mence the Amaila Falls Hy­dro project as rec­om­mended by the in­de­pen­dent Nor­we­gian con­sul­tancy firm;

● Im­prove the im­ple­men­ta­tion of cap­i­tal projects, par­tic­u­larly Govern­ment loan projects;

● Hold an open and fair pro­cure­ment process for the pre-fea­si­bil­ity/fea­si­bil­ity stud­ies and im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Coren­tyne- Suri­name Bridge, Lin­den- Lethem Road and the new De­mer­ara Har­bour Bridge and all ma­jor roads projects;

The 2018 bud­get mo­tion by the PPP/C com­pre­hen­sively out­lines the vi­sion for the next few years on what is needed.

Con­clu­sion

This govern­ment’s spite­ful and vin­dic­tive ac­tions across a range of is­sues are hurt­ing the peo­ple. They are com­pounded by bla­tant dis­re­gard for the con­sti­tu­tion and an ar­ro­gance for all to see.

Be op­ti­mistic, re­mem­ber that that they are only in power by a one seat ma­jor­ity in Par­lia­ment and their strat­egy seems to be fo­cus­ing on the neg­a­tive, cause as much dis­cord as pos­si­ble and hope that the elec­torate will not give them the pun­ish­ment they de­serve.

We need drive, en­ergy and a de­sire to gen­uinely work to­gether to bring our na­tion back to an in­te­grated so­ci­ety and re­spect for each and ev­ery­one.

The PPP/C con­tin­ues to of­fer these on our plat­form We are read­just­ing all our plans to fit what Guyana 2020 and be­yond will need to en­sure our chil­dren have that bright fu­ture that we all want. The courage is for all of us to stand firm and be en­gaged in every as­pect of our na­tion to en­sure democ­racy sur­vives.

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