By Jomo Paul
[www.inewsguyana.com] – APNU+AFC coalition has officially launched its manifesto for the 2015 General and Regional Elections at the Stabroek Market square to a crowd of supporters and curious onlookers.
A copy of the official manifesto acquired by iNews, details much of what was present in the draft copy of the manifesto that made its way into the public domain last Thursday.
The document details a plan to develop Region 10 which has seen some economic downturns over the years.
“The vision of the APNU+AFC is that Linden must become the second administrative centre of Guyana to realise its strategic importance as the gateway of the South and to benefit from of its comparative geographical advantage in the face of the threat of coastal sea level rise due to global warming. Investment in and diversification of its industries are essential so as to provide sources of alternative employment in Region 10,” the manifesto notes.
According to the document, the coalition plans to “commission a comprehensive review of current taxation systems and policies, including the value-added tax, to identify and recommend fiscal innovations that would not only address the adverse consequence of the current structure of taxation, including hardship effects, but would create incentives that could attract needed investment in critical sectors of the economy.”
Further if elected, APNU+AFC says it will manage the economy in such a way as to produce wider entrepreneurial and job opportunities and more equitable outcomes so that the bulk of generated income and wealth accrues to the populace as a whole and not only to a very small elite.
“Ensure management of dynamically stable economic fundamentals (the foreign exchange rate, foreign currency reserves, low levels of inflation, rates of interest, fiscal surplus/deficit and debt management) that would allow the expansion of economic and industrial activities, and stimulate higher levels of savings and investment (domestic and foreign),” the manifesto noted.
The coalition also intends to develop a comprehensive Public Security plan.
“It will appoint a specialised committee, to include national stake-holders and supported as appropriate by external agencies, with the objective of developing comprehensive Public Security plan, for early implementation, which identify the main causes of violent crimes and escalating crimes in Guyana and the mechanisms for their prevention,” the manifesto read.
APNU+AFC plans to employ trained Psychologists to counsel battered and otherwise abused women. These Psychologists/Counsellors shall operate clinics, hospitals but shall also work in concert with the Special Victims Unit of the Guyana Police Force.
It also plans to ensure a state of readiness and the acquisition of expertise and forensic equipment, including DNA and IT technology, to enable an effective response to emerging crimes such as white-collar crime and money laundering and those such as rape which seem to be without deterrent.
Further, there are plans to waive the fees payable by Old Age Pensioners for: passport renewal; motor vehicle license; motor vehicle fitness; driver’s license; road, bridge and ferry tolls; and the airport exit tax.
The document proposes that should the APNU+AFC be elected to office, it would institute a 10% across the board increase in salary for public sector workers in the first instance. This will be done as a prelude to the resuscitation of collective bargaining for the public service.
The APNU+AFC Coalition says it “will immediately appoint a Constitutional Reform Commission consisting of representatives of all major Stakeholders – trades unions, the private sector, religious and faith-based organisations, women, youths, professional organizations and the University. Its mandate will be to undertake the urgent task of fashioning comprehensive reforms, for early implementation, designed to guarantee a democratic society free from the abuse of citizens by those in high office fuelled by the exercise of arbitrary powers and behaviour by the Executive which is inconsistent with the spirit and provisions of the Constitution.”