By Jomo Paul
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Minister of State, Joseph Harmon has defended the maiden fiscal budget of the APNU+AFC administration against accusations made by incoming Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo.
The Former President at a press conference on Tuesday blasted the Budget presented by Finance Minister Winston Jordan, claiming that it was a “carbon copy” of the plans of the People’s Progressive Party with certain parts meant to “dupe” the Guyanese populace.
However, Harmon at a post cabinet media briefing on Wednesday, August 12, said that Jagdeo must be clear whether the views articulated are also those of the PPP.
“The rants of an individual who I am not quite sure represents the total views of the People’s Progressive Party and therefore we will respond in due course once we recognize that these are the views of the PPP,” said Harmon.
The Minister of State was pellucid that the budget could not be a carbon copy, citing several initiatives that could have been implemented ages ago now being present in the APNU+AFC’s maiden budget.
“Certainly it’s not a PPP budget…what Mr Jordan laid out was a vision of the year 2020. Certainly the PPP could not have had such a vision,” Harmon stated.
He stated that the new administration does not have a responsibility to trash every project started under the PPP administration since it would not have been wise. Harmon said that some of the projects had some viability to them hence they are being pursued by the APNU+AFC.
“These were government ideas. They were not the sole preserves of the PPP or Jagdeo. These people are still working in the Ministry of Finance…employed by the state and paid by the state…this is not the PPP budget this could never be a PPP budget,” said the Minister of State.
Meanwhile, Tourism Minister Cathy Hughes said it is the responsibility of any mature government to be able to look at what has been put in place and to review it and be able to determine whether the project is viable to proceed with or discard.
“We can create havoc in an economy if we start to suggest that if a policy was introduced by any one particular administration then it must be discontinued by the next,” said the Tourism Minister.