By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Opposition Leader David Granger during his contribution to the National 2014 Budget debate in the National Assembly expressed the view that the narco – trafficking is the engine of growth in Guyana, that is responsible largely for other criminal activities including murders and armed robberies.
He told the House that the public security crisis which Guyana is plagued with will not correct itself and the government should take action as he questioned what provisions were included in the budget to make the hinterland safe from banditry and piracy.
Granger said it was the upsurge in violent crimes that was scaring away foreign investors and not the Opposition or local media as the government sometimes purports.
“Driving away the educated elites, undermining economic growth and impeding social development… the lucrative narcotrade has found armed gangs which use their wealth to buy political influence and suborned the security forces to protect their interest.”
The Opposition Leader argued that money launderers associated with traffickers also distort the domestic economy by pricing their goods and services below market rates which undermines legitimate businesses.
“Revelations in the international media of a Guyana and Italy cocaine conspiracy are ominous… confirms fears that Guyana is sleepwalking into narco statehood.”
In a broader context, Granger said the budget was planned and prepared without meaningful consultation and is a document that will provide a “bitter Guyana for all Guyanese.”
He said the budget was Anti-poor, anti-people, anti-progress and driven by politics and not by economics.
He teased the administration that it promises in poetry but perform in prose, adding that the minister had a good budget speech but argued that it does not cater adequately to the needs of Guyanese.
He said judging from the budget it reflects “the same old PPP with the same old presumptuousness, evasiveness and platitude,adding that the ruling party spends like a drunken sailor.”
Granger said there are aspects of the document that they don’t agree with and when put to them, the Opposition will exercise their constitutional right in disapproving.