PSC concerned by City Hall’s no-show at tripartite meetings

Some months after agreeing to work in a tripartite committee aimed at developing and modernising the capital city, the Mayor and City Council (M&CC) has been dragging its foot in participating in the initiative. city-hall
The committee, which consists of representatives of the M&CC, the Private Sector Commission (PSC) and Central Government, was expected to discuss matters in relation to the institutionalising of a solid partnership to develop the capital city.
Following several non-appearances by the M&CC, the PSC wrote Communities Minister Ronald Bulkan expressing concerns over City Hall’s apparent unwillingness to partake in this meaningful venture.  “The PSC is disappointed in the lack of commitment shown on behalf of the M&CC representatives as reflected in their absence and request for postponement of the meetings scheduled for such dialogue, and hopes that this situation can be reversed so that effective dialogue can be facilitated,” the Private Sector body penned in a letter to the Communities Minister. The letter, seen by Guyana Times, noted that the PSC underscored the importance of this dialogue forum, and despite the unwillingness demonstrated by the M&CC, recommitted itself to the process for the betterment of Georgetown.
“(We) hope that the M&CC can join us around the table as a meaningful partner,” the PSC stated.
The organisation also expressed gratitude to the Minister for coordinating and facilitating a structure for these meetings, as was recommended by President David Granger.
The PSC said it was cognisant of the financial challenges faced by the M&CC and on this basis agreed to be part of a tripartite committee to arrive at solutions for revenue generation and sustainable development of the capital city.
The decision to form a tripartite committee came out of a meeting between the two entities following City Hall’s imposition of a container fee and a cargo fee for all cargo within vehicles of specific weight traversing the streets of the city.
City Hall recently made a decision at a statutory meeting to ask Central Government for a $600 million bailout in order to pay its debts.
Reports indicate that the City Hall delegation is yet to formally make the request of the Communities Minister; however, the subject Minister has already made it clear that he is not desirous of granting approval for such a venture.
“This $600 million bailout that we all have read about in the newspapers, where that particular council is looking for that support, what I can say… and from my own understanding and the limited current engagement that I have had with colleagues in the Administration, is that I do not think that there is any appetite on the part of the Central Government to be favourably disposed towards that request,” Bulkan recently asserted at a forum in Berbice.