The PPP Leader told a news conference on October 24 that he has “major concerns about the economy and it grinding to a halt.” He said this is not just reflected in the country’s growth rate but in the loss of income and jobs.
“My fear is that we may have several financial crisis long before we have an economic crisis, particularly with the currency and with our banking system,” Jagdeo told reporters.
Guyana recorded a 2.5% decrease in its economic output for the first half of 2015 when compared to 2014, according to the Mid-Year Report, released by the Ministry of Finance.
According to the Report, at the time of the preparation of Budget 2015, preliminary estimates had indicated the country’s half year growth rate at 0.9 percent. The Report stated however that with the passage of time and the benefits of the actual first half performance in a number of sectors, the country recorded real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 0.7 percent in the first half of 2015, with non -sugar GDP recording a growth rate of 0.8 percent.
Meanwhile, the Opposition Leader said he recently met with some businessmen in Region 5, who expressed “grave misgivings” about the law that is currently before Parliament – the Financial Institution Amendment Act.
According to Jagdeo, the businessmen are worried that the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) “will be used politically to go after their information and I am very fearful about what this could trigger.”
The Opposition Leader noted, “Many of them probably will pull their money out of the system. If that happens you will have a large scale movement of resources, switching to US dollars or to be externalized to capital fund; this could cause a run of the banks as well as major problems with our currency and I urge the government to be careful about the signals they’re sending because if that were to ever happen, we will trigger a crisis of unimaginable proportions in this country.”