PSC wants Gov’t. to make good on promises given to Linden
- urges removal of blockades
The Private Sector Commission, reeling from the effects of the Linden standoff, is urging the Government to take prompt action and set target closure times for the implementation of several proposed projects and interventions in the mining town, where there have been accusations of promises made but not kept.
In a statement issued recently, the PSC wants the government to liberalise television broadcasting in the Linden area in keeping with democratic norms, giving particular support to Trade and Skill development programming.
It also wants the government to create a skilled, qualified and empowered team of civil society leaders with the vision to deal with the issue of economic development in the Linden area; a team that will work along with people of Linden and the appropriate government ministries to turn Linden into the Manaus of Guyana.
Additionally the Commission is calling for the re-establishment of a Micro-Finance scheme using the successful SEBRAE management and outreach model.
To facilitate this, the PSC said it is committed to working closely with the Government of Guyana and Region Ten stakeholders to help create the management structures and also to promote agricultural development in that region.
This position follows meetings between the private sector and other stakeholders on the linden matter.
Over the past week the PSC has had meetings with the Government of Guyana, APNU, the AFC, the Chairman of Region Ten and the Parliamentary representatives for Linden.
On Thursday last, a Private Sector team led by the Chairman of the PSC also travelled to Linden to meet with stakeholders and business interests there.
“We wish to record our appreciation to all individuals, institutions and political parties who met with us and shared information and voiced their concerns and the positions of their parties and institutions. Whilst the issue started with the dissent over electricity tariffs, Guyanese have since lost their lives and suffered serious injuries. The issue of tariffs has now taken second place, to investigations into the fatalities, but still requires a collective resolution by all interest groups, supported by sound technical data,” the PSC said.
Arising out of the rounds of meetings, the Private Sector Commission urged the President of Guyana to have a Commission of Inquiry, and an independent Pathologist as well as to personally address the nation.
All of this was done, the PSC said.
The body also met with the Commissioner of Police who, together with his team, provided his views on the serious nature of what transpired at Linden. “The private sector has resolved to respect the findings of the independent Commission of Inquiry.”
“The PSC wishes to stress that the present action to block access roads to the interior and industrial activities in Linden is causing businesses to lose millions of dollars each day in local and export revenues and will ultimately result in a loss of employment opportunities that may take years to regain. Ordinary Guyanese people and employees in Linden and adjacent areas are not being paid and are already suffering and facing severe hardships. Although what has transpired is most unfortunate certain key steps have been agreed to and the time has come for this situation to be speedily resolved. We therefore urge the immediate and voluntary removal of the roadblocks. The future of our country and the economic well being of the people of not only Linden but also all the four regions being affected are at stake. Job creation requires the investment of private capital in a low risk environment,” the PSC stated.