By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Former President Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo, though exercising restraint, has snubbed at the political opposition’s criticism of the incumbent People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) government and its obstruction to several transformational projects, particularly the stalled Amaila Falls Hydro Power Project.
Jagdeo, who exited office three years ago, said he has since sat and looked at the comments emanating from the political opposition; describing the administration as visionless in several respects.
“I stayed silent and it was hard to do so,” the Former President said as he proceeded to defend the administration’s plans for Guyana.
Jagdeo was at the time addressing the business community as the keynote speaker at a business dinner hosted by the Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association (GMSA) on Friday (October 11) evening.
He explained that it was his intention to avoid speaking about the local economy and his impression of the political atmosphere and speak on climate related matter. And while the majority of his speech addressed such issues, the Opposition’s rejection of several projects that would have propelled a green growth model locally was examined by the Former Guyanese Head of State.
Amid his talk of climate related matter, Jagdeo pointed out that “the politics of our country will not allow us to move forward… you hear all sorts of things including corruption.”
While registering his dismay, Jagdeo defended the stalled Amaila Falls Hydro Power Project.
“I heard from some Opposition commentators that we would have incurred a debt from $700M to $2.1B… the debt is zero because the government is buying power,” he said; adding that “all we are doing is $700M of performance guarantee, that is what we are giving and it would not be added to the debt stock or debt servicing.”
He trashed suggestions that the plant could be built using local bonds.
“Just imagine if you had to issue local bonds worth US$850 million in this economy what it will do to the markets here… it will dry up liquidity, interest rates will go back to where it were when we assumed office at 35%.”
Jagdeo also pointed out that the road which had initially cost $15M and was done halfway, some $30M is needed to complete it.
“The same people who were critical then have all gone quiet… my argument is that great things don’t come easily… we have to seize opportunities when they come along.”
Meanwhile, he said he has also listened to commentators saying the PPP do not have clarity where it is taking the country; counter claiming that “we have a clear pathway to the future.”
He explained that the administration has been looking to define new growth poles which include hydro power and improving the information and communication technology sector.
Jagdeo spoke too of the Opposition’s objection to the airport expansion project saying that there is a need to understand that new wealth needs to be created for the next generation.
“We need to look to the future and ensure that the next generation lives better lives than this one.”