Prison break will damage investor’s confidence – Opposition Advisor
The downward-spiraling economic situation the country is experiencing will be compounded further with the recent second massive incident at the Georgetown Prison, which saw a prison officer being killed and a number of high profile prisoners escaping; with some still on the run. This is according to Economic Advisor to the Opposition, Dr Peter Ramsaroop, who recently addressed key economic issues on Guyana’s current crisis and the logical consequences to the David Granger-led Administration.
The situation across the country became even more critical, he said, after the Prison break. “The fear of the population, the memory of the previous massacre, and investor confidence has taken front row all over again,” according to Dr Ramsaroop in his “we will Make Guyana Better” appeal ahead of the 2020 Regional and General Elections.
Dr Ramsaroop said that even though the PPP Administration demonstrated significant growth during their management of the economy, Guyana will be different post-2020. He posits this will obtain since there will be major industries that will have to be rebuilt, while ensuring new endeavours, such as oil and gas, are given the opportunity to succeed.
The economic advisor to the Opposition indicated that the APNU/AFC Administration reversed every successful policy of the PPP Administration.
“This is demonstrated every day with less money circulating, closure of sugar estates, and social programmes impacted, such as the $10,000 voucher programme.”
He observed, too, that that the ‘Anti-Sugar Campaign by the Granger Administration is not a business decision, not even a social experiment.
According to Dr Ramsaroop, “Over the last two-plus years, numerous economic policies have either been revised, changed, or abolished, with relatively few being new…Some of the major economic planks that were changed from the previous Administration were the halting of the Amalia Falls Hydro Project and the drawdown of the sugar industry.”
These two changes, according to Dr Ramsaroop, “have had a deleterious impact on our economy, and can be measured by the drastic financial and social impact on the nation.
In his analysis of the two Administration’s handling of the more-than-200-year-old sugar industry, Dr Ramsaroop reminded that “the previous Government had built a modern sugar plant in Skeldon.”
He concedes that, as is the case with the development of several such large-scale projects, there have been issues regarding its full functionality, “but with the level of investment as a major capital project, I am sure (that) with the right expertise, it could have been put to full use.”
He pointed to the co-generation of power being one of the major outputs that should have been expanded.
He indicated a plan to move to more co-generation of power, the development of the Ethanol Factory at Albion, Berbice to produce thousands of liters per day, and finally the move to more refined crystals, all of which he says would have seen a significant growth in the sugar industry, protecting thousands of jobs. We would have ended up growing more sugar.
The Economic Advisor posits that the lack of an objective and meaningful social impact assessment would surely have shown that thousands would be on the breadline with no retraining and no new industries on the horizon.
Guyana is desperately in need of cheaper energy, Dr Ramsaroop reminds, and argues that the Granger decision on Amaila Falls Hydro Project would have been a little more bolstered had there been alternative plans in place that could have been considered.
He said the recent announcement by Caribbean Containers Inc (CCI) to close operation and instead import materials “demonstrates even more that our manufacturing sector cannot survive without cheaper energy.” Guyana, he said, needs to get back on a growth trajectory, the plans are there, Government needs to rethink and take the best of what was previously left for them, and get on with the business of managing the nation in an impartial, objective and compassionate manner for the benefit of all its citizens.”