By Jomo Paul
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Incumbent President, Donald Ramotar has promised that once the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) is re-elected to office post May 11, the administration would look towards the establishment of new banking institutions in Guyana.
Ramotar was at the time making opening remarks at the Guyana Manufacturing Services Association (GMSA) luncheon on Wednesday, April 22 where he detailed some of the PPP’s plans to ensure the economic stability of Guyana.
Ramotar pointed out that Guyana has not seen a new commercial banking institution since the 20th century, something which was intentional given Guyana’s relatively small economy.
But Ramotar said that since then, the dynamics of the financial world and the country’s economy has changed, hence the need for more banks.
“My intention is to issue more commercial banking licenses in the future. I think that it is important because I feel that even though the banking sector has done extremely well, I still detect some amount of conservativeness in them,” said President Ramotar.
According to Ramotar, a PPP/C government will scout reputable banking institutions across the globe and encourage the said institutions to set up shop on Guyana’s shores.
“My hope is that this will help the private sector greatly, because by stimulating more competition in this sector, I expect that the interest rate spread will come down greatly,” he added.
He said that the PPP will not be looking to establish a developmental bank but rather would be using other financial mechanisms to bring relief to investors.
“We will be using more fiscal measure until we are able to establish the specialized type of institutions,” he said.
Ramotar also spoke of the PPP’s plan to “catalyse” development type financing in Guyana will special attention being place on expanding the Women of Worth (WOW) initiative.
WOW is a microcredit scheme that aims to help single mothers start small businesses in Guyana and was launched in June by the Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry Limited (GBTI.) In order to be eligible for the program, single mothers must be between 18 and 60 years and earn less than GYD 40,000 (USD 195) per month.
Those who qualify for the program are able to access up to GYD 250,000 (USD 1,200) without having to put up collateral. A grace period of three to six months is offered before the first payment is due.
“We want to extend that experience…into other sectors and we hope that we can do that in other sectors to stimulate small and medium sized enterprises to grow,” said Ramotar who is hoping for a re-election come May 11.