‘I reject any attempt to be muzzled by the PSC’ – Harmon

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By Kurt Campbell

Chairman of the PSC, Ron Webster.
Chairman of the PSC, Ron Webster.

[www.inewsguyana.com] – The Private Sector Commission (PSC) in a letter to Opposition Leader David Granger expressed grave concern and profound dissatisfaction at statements made by Opposition Member of Parliament Joseph Harmon regarding the potential investors of the Marriott Hotel and Atlantic Holdings Inc.

The PSC in the letter signed by its President Ronald Webster said it was particularly concerned with the part of Harmon’s statement that said: “banks are now put on notice that the APNU consider this project as lacking economic justification, without Parliamentary approval and as presently configured not in the best interest of Guyanese” and “as such we, as representatives of the people of Guyana, would find difficulty honoring any commitment made by Atlantic Hotel Inc., NICIL, or the Government of Guyana in this regard.”

As such, the PSC stated that such statements have far reaching and very serious negative investment consequences for all private businesses in the country, especially those seeking to access capital overseas.

When contacted by iNews for a response, Harmon noted his dissatisfaction with the PSC for not sending him the letter directly since it concerned statements he made.

“I have had many meetings with the PSC and discussed any issue that arose which required clarification, be it infrastructural or developmental… what is more dissatisfactory is that even before they send me this letter and give me a chance to respond, it was sent to the media which shows that their objective is one of PR [public relations] rather than proper discussions,” Harmon said.

APNU Member of Parliament, Joseph Harmon.
APNU Member of Parliament, Joseph Harmon.

He explained that his statements which have incurred the wrath of the PSC are statements that represent the concerns of the wider Guyanese public in the Marriott construction and is consistent with previous statements made.

The APNU Parliamentarian bemoaned once again what he said are acts of contempt in the project and committed to continue speaking out about it. “I reject any attempt, especially from the PSC to muzzle me in this regard… the nation wants to be advised who are the PSC members that have invested in the project” he said, adding that “APNU considers the PSC to having an important role to play but when it comes to the people’s money it is my duty to speak out on the matter.”

The PSC went on to register its belief that Harmon’s statement was extremely premature, as it inexplicably presumes that a large regional financial institution and established banks in the syndicated loan financing for the Marriott would not have performed their due diligence and loan analysis.

“Such a presumption is unwarranted and can only be seen as a political threat to intimidate foreign investors and financial institutions from supporting projects sponsored by the Government.”

The PSC concluded the letter with a call for an engagement with the APNU in a discussion on the objectives and implications of its policies and to share its views on policies that it would like to advocate.

To this end Harmon said “in all my engagements I have always held one principle and that is that I will represent the interest of all Guyanese both in private and public… my primary concern is the development of Guyana and more importantly sustained human development.”

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