It is quite illogical to envision that the 50th Independence anniversary celebrations will drive an economic boom, according to Opposition Leader Dr Bharrat Jagdeo, who remains adamant that the coalition government must implement more serious measures to foster economic growth.
Government officials on several occasions have contended that these celebrations will generate widespread spending and money will be circulating in abundance owing to the thousands of overseas-based Guyanese who will be returning home to join in the festivities.
But the Opposition Leader explained that spending will only increase for that brief celebratory period, and therefore questioned what will happen when the celebrations are over.
“What happens after? Okay, so the hotels get a little more (money) during that period, there will be some increased spending in the economy in that period, but after that what happens? Why did they shut down our Mashramani if that stimulates the economy,” Dr Jagdeo posited.
“It’s pure nonsense that you can drive an economic boom by celebrating Independence. If that’s the case, every country would be celebrating every day!” he declared.
The former President said the government appears to be doing the exact opposite of implementing measures to stimulate economic growth.
“You can’t say, ‘Oh, we gonna celebrate Independence and have an economic boom’. How does that translate into an economic boom except for that period when there will be a little more money circulating in the economy? If you are taking away money from people through higher taxes; you are taking more money away by renewing (raising) licences for trade and economic activities, you have to show that you paid taxes in the last seven years; you have to pay more for tyres… how will you increase disposable income and encourage spending?” Dr Jagdeo questioned.
He explained that though Finance Minister Winston Jordan highlighted three external factors that may threaten the country’s economic growth, he (Jordan) did not indicate what measures he will put in place to prevent the country from being affected.
Jagdeo did not get into much details but posited that there are many steps government can take to ensure the economy grows despite global downfalls. He, however, lamented the fact that the current administration seems to be doing absolutely nothing but engaging in unnecessary spending.
Mainly the productive sector needs help in order to compete on the global market, Jagdeo pointed out. (Devina Samaroo)