GMSA urges Parliamentarians to put ‘tit – for – tat’ politics aside

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The Guyana Manufacturing & Services Association (GMSA) in a statement says it fully endorses the position put forward by the Private Sector Commission (PSC) urging swift action on the passage of two critical pieces of legislation, and warning that a halt to the Amaila Falls Hydropower Project could result in higher electricity rates and the collapse of the manufacturing sector.

The GMSA is urging Parliamentarians to put tit-for-tat politics aside and do what is necessary to release Guyanese from the grasp of ordinariness.

In the National Assembly on Thursday, the opposition voted down the Hydro Electric Amendment Bill and a motion to increase the debt ceiling – two key elements of the Amaila Falls Project.

“For quite some years, the GMSA has been appealing to the powers that be to reduce the cost of energy which by itself is the single most debilitating factor inhibiting the incremental growth of Guyana’s manufacturing sector.  Companies that provide essential and social services have also been tottering under the impact of high energy charges that are reflected on the prices of their end products,” the GMSA stated.

According to the GSMA, high energy costs continue to be the deciding factor that has turned away numerous foreign investors interested in utilizing Guyana’s rich naturally occurring resources.

“It has put out of operation many new and existing business ventures all across the spectrum, and Guyanese numbering in the thousands have lost jobs because of it.  The fortunes and prospects of this nation have been dwindling fast.

The Amaila Falls Hydropower Electricity Project is, without doubt, the solution to this crippling dilemma.  It is hardly difficult to predict and itemize the immediate benefits to Guyanese if and when this project is completed, the most obvious being the creation of jobs in the electricity sector itself, the emergence of new downstream enterprises, and a healthier manufacturing sector with entrepreneurs able to penetrate overseas markets farther than the Caribbean and North America, and satisfy customers and distributors with higher quality products in greater quantities.”

The GMSA also pointed out that the external image of Guyana is also at stake, as is the country’s ability to attract consideration for further foreign assistance.

“Consideration must be given to the hundreds of people currently employed on the project itself, and the thousands more who will be able to work and earn as the project progresses.  The livelihoods of all Guyanese are at stake.  In addition, cost efficient and reliable energy is the pillar of any country’s economic development strategy and Guyana is no different.”

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