[www.inewsguyana.com] – Minister within the Ministry of Finance Juan Edghill has condemned what he said is the denial of a better life for Guyanese by the Parliamentary Opposition.
Speaking during an interview at the weekend, Edghill stated that the claim by the Opposition of wanting to bring a better life to Guyanese is untrue. He pointed out that this is shown clearly in the National Assembly by the “reckless, unpatriotic and un-nationalistic” actions of the opposition.
The Minister stated that each time the National Budget is cut, it hits hard at the developmental process and the sector from which money is cut.
He added that the move to the Court will be carried out by Government if the Minister of Finance Dr. Ashni Singh is taken to the Parliamentary Privileges Committee. Minister Edghill declared that Government will not allow the dictatorship of one to prevent the development of the people of Guyana.
Observing that he could understand an Opposition seeking to curb excesses, he said he could not understand one that denies flagship programmes, seeking to enhance the development of the people of the country. He questioned whether it is a form of punishment for the Amerindians who voted in their majority for the PPP that the entire Amerindian Development Fund (ADF) was cut out of the 2014 budget.
Minister Edghill reminded that the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) holds the majority of the seats in the National Assembly, whilst there is an ‘unholy alliance’ between A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) and the Alliance for Change (AFC).
He added that whilst Government is always willing to compromise, attempts at doing so have been with a resounding no as with the Anti-Money Laundering Bill. The offer was made to pass the Bill as presented by the APNU and it was rejected out of hand.
The Minister reiterated that the ‘unruly horse’ of the tenth Parliament has consistently rejected Government’s articulation towards development for the country through it National Budgets. Pointing to the Office of the President and the cut of its budget in 2014, he noted the areas affected when an entire programme was knocked out.
The Presidential guard service, Institute of Applied Science and Technology (IAST), GO-Invest, Office of the Commissioner of Information, Office of the First Lady, NCN and Government Information Agency (GINA) plus the administrative staff of the Office of the President were affected by the cut. Hundreds of Guyanese as a result faced the bread line.
He explained that while the President could not function without staff and security, Guyana’s investment agenda would be brought to a standstill while the experiments being conducted by IAST would also be halted. The claim of wanting to only cut allocations to NCN and GINA would not hold water, he pointed out, since every President around the world has an outfit like GINA. This outfit would disseminate information of the President and the Cabinet to the nation.
The Opposition knows that if Guyana’s development continues to advance to continue its trend of eight years of constant economic growth, Guyanese would see that the administration is working hard on their behalf, he asserted.
Therefore it the Opposition’s intention of putting people into positions which would create hardships so they would cry out that it is a time for change. “But I have great faith in the people of Guyana,” he noted, and pointed out that they are educated and wise enough to know that while the economy is growing the country is advancing, all financed through the Budget.
The expansion of the economy and diversification of the sectors with transformational projects such as the Specialty Hospital, the Amaila Falls hydro power project, the student loan fund, would all affect the young people of Guyana. However, Government has continued to press forward by restoring the monies to the budget, thus they are now trying to take Minister Singh to the Committee of Privileges because of the same action taken in 2012 and 2013.
The Minister stated that while the administration is going ahead with several projects which have foreign funding, some others like the Amaila Falls Hydro Project are funded under the Low Carbon Development Strategy, which creates difficulties.
[Extracted and modified from GINA]