Energy from PPP/C Govt in first 100 days “nothing short of amazing” – Private Sector

Chairman of the PSC, Nicholas Boyer

The Private Sector Commission (PSC) of Guyana has rated the Peoples Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Government’s first one hundred days in office as outstanding.

Chairman of the PSC, Nicholas Boyer, related that the Private Sector is quite impressed with the pace at which the Government has tackled national development issues since the Irfaan-Ali-led administration took the reigns of political power on August 2nd.

“It seems to me that the Government is very active and engaged. We have seen the Government put in the Local Content Panel, which was one of the things we have been concerned about.

“We have seen action on infrastructural development and recently, we saw the movements in the housing sector,” Boyer outlined.

Boyer also heaped praise on the Government for manner in which it has tackled the Coronavirus pandemic, noting that it has operationalised a Covid-19 task force to take the necessary action to confront the virus.

“We are also happy with the communication and willingness to meet, so that sort of activity and energy from the Government in the first 100 days has been nothing short of amazing,” he added.

Similarly, Secretary and Head of Trade and Investment of the PSC, Ramesh Dookhoo, highlighted that the Government deserves much praise for the way it has confronted the massive developmental challenges since it assumed office.

“Much to the Government’s credit, a lot of what was recommended by the Private Sector appeared in their Manifesto. That’s the first point of happiness for us, but when the Government got into office, we were stunned at the pace at which everything is being implemented,” Dookhoo observed.

Contrary to what is being peddled by the Opposition, Dookhoo contended that the Government is not only focused on protecting the interests of the Private Sector, but all other stakeholders, including the ordinary citizens.

“A lot of social issues have been addressed and there has been emphasis on putting disposable income back into the pockets of persons,” the top ranking private sector official argued.

According to Dookhoo, when one looks at the major decisions that have been taken when compared to the past, one would be “astounded at the pace”.

He cited the liberalisation of the telecommunications sector as an example, noting that the PSC had “given up on that”. “So I would give the Government an A+ for the first 100 days in office.”

Today (November 10th), marks the first 100 days since Dr Irfaan Ali was sworn in as President of Guyana on August 2 2020, after a tumultuous five months where concerted efforts were made to deny him the presidency.

Immediately after taking the reigns of power, the PPP/C Government was tasked with preparing a national emergency budget to address pressing issues, including the expenditures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo had reported on “shocking details” of the previous Administration’s mismanagement in relation to the country’s response to the pandemic.

Immediate steps were taken by the PPP/C Government with the involvement of international partners to acquire the necessary resources to fight the spread of the virus.

Also, in the Government’s first 100 days, there was a clear focus on infrastructure. The Government was able to negotiate and jump-start several projects which were stagnating under the former Coalition Government.

One such project is the Diamond/Ogle bypass road. Originally, Guyana had signed a US$50 million loan with the Indian Exim Bank in 2016 for the project. By 2019, that price had shot up to US$175 million and the Exim bank was reluctant to fund it.

Further, the contract for the new Demerara River bridge is another project the PPP was able to get back on track. Over 40 companies from around the world have submitted Expressions of Interest to design and construct the bridge. The Government has promised that construction of the bridge will be completed within three to four years.

In terms of housing, the Housing Ministry has been very proactive in addressing the huge demand for houselots across the country. It was recently announced that 40 contracts to the tune of over $1 billion were awarded to 22 companies for infrastructural upgrades to areas identified for housing development.

Also, the PPP/C Government has actively been engaged in the process of reviving the sugar sector by reopening the closed estates. Over 200 sugar workers have since been rehired and 400 more will be hired by year-end.

Additionally, several tax measures have been reversed and social assistance packages have been offered to residents, among other notable achievements.