President David Granger on Friday (November 1, 2019) said that local businesses need to stop looking for handouts and crying out about the economic state of the country. Instead, he suggests that they invest in key sectors such as manufacturing and agriculture in order to prosper.
Speaking on a local radio programme, the Head of State posited that his administration has put in place incentives for local businesses, such as reducing taxes – both Value Added (VAT) and corporate – and incentivising key sectors.
Despite this, however, he noted that business owners are complaining instead of being innovative and make new investments.
“The businessmen must turn their attention to innovation and to investment and to building the infrastructure. I am not criticising them but businesses can’t prosper on handouts. They have to take the risks and they have to invest. I am not seeing that investment,” the President noted.
However, Presidential Candidate for the People’s Progressive Party (PPP), Dr Irfaan Ali, disagreed with the Head of State’s position, calling it “unfortunate”. He pointed out that the local private sector has played a critical role to grow and expand the Guyanese economy in several hurdles and periods.
“The private sector had to be innovative and strategic at that time in the country to achieve such success… We need to stimulate growth in the private sector so that they can expand and create more opportunities and higher paying jobs for more Guyanese. So we can’t say on one hand that our private sector is not equipped to grab the opportunities for the future and on the other hand, we’re not giving them the incentives – the fiscal, monetary and tax incentives – to make them capable, to equip them to grab those opportunities and create the wealth here,” Ali posited during an interview also on Friday.