President Ramotar renews promise to modernize Guyana
…as PPP/C celebrates 20 years in power
By Rehanna Ramsay
“Twenty years ago today (yesterday) Comrade Cheddi Jagan was sworn in as Guyana’s first democratically elected President. It was the beginning of the journey that we are still on today.”
This was one of the many reflections of President Donald Ramotar as he addressed a forum yesterday, commemorating the People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP\C) Administration’s 20-year period in office from 1992 to present day.
“Comrade Cheddi’s struggle was to set the models, rehabilitate and modernise. Look at what was done and even more importantly what currently is being done. Asphaltic concrete surfaces, race the length and breadth of Guyana on our highways and byways.
Four lane highways with traffic lights, roads where there were none. Infrastructure was transformed. Infrastructure was transformed in all the sectors… remarkable and tremendous strides continue to be made as we speak,” the Head of State asserted.
“The main effect of the infrastructure rehabilitation was its contribution to the elevation of standards, increasing productivity and output. The need for good infrastructure is vital and indispensable to social and economic progress. Guyana has once again proven that economic axiom.”
“We rebuilt infrastructure so that our society Guyana could benefit from New Beginnings, and our nation has. Our Party is grounded in the belief that the most important factor for development is our people. We held this view before we took office and it is this position that guides our daily action in government,” Ramotar stated.
He stressed that the PPP/C Administration will be looking to further modernize the country in areas of Agriculture, Tourism as well as infrastructure.
During his address, President Ramotar disclosed that Guyana is much closer to securing finances to building the Amaila Falls Hydro Electric facility.
“This will see us generating some 90% of our energy needs from renewable resources; this will have a profound impact on the growth of manufacturing and processing in our country and allow us to reduce our dependence on fossil fuel and save valuable foreign exchange”
The Head of State noted that Guyana has a tremendous opportunity of becoming “a hub in the world of air traffic” with the expansion of the Cheddi Jagan International Airport
This, he said, would foster a boost to the tourism sector. The promise of modern hotels will also assist in promoting this cause, Ramotar opined.
He noted that the resuscitation of the mining industry has further strengthened Guyana’s economy.
“New expansion is taking place, we are developing in gold mining in more modern ways. A new manganese mine is expected to begin commercial operation soon”
Ramotar made a comparison of the growth of the respective industries prior to the PPP/C Government which took office in 1992.
“Sugar increased output from a mere 130,000 tons in 1990 to 237,000 tons in 2011; rice was just 90,000 tons in 1990, last year it was 402,000 tons; declaration of gold in 1991 was 59,000 ounces, last year it was 363,000 ounces; bauxite was 1.3 million tons in 1991, last year it was 1.8 million tons.”
Reflecting on the Party’s achievements, Ramotar said that after being elected into governance in October 1992, the PPP/C took office under the Presidency of the late Dr Cheddi Jagan, and “…from that era to now Guyana has seen economic average growth of 5 % per annum.”
He also noted that the private sector has made tremendous strides, and lauded the party’s continued recognition of the country’s indigenous peoples.
“Under the PPP/C the Amerindian Affairs Ministry came into being as well as the creation of the National Toshaos Council under the 2006 Amerindian Act.”
Meanwhile, in her address, Executive Party Member Gail Teixiera told the gathering that the current Government had struggled following their appointment to office, to provide Guyanese with a better quality of life.
However she noted that after two decades of political rule, the PPP/C Government has afforded the public with the opportunity of becoming property owners, empowered women, and provided better qualities of education and health care for every level of society.
Teixeira nevertheless said that “the struggle is not over” as she called on all Guyanese to join in the process of developing the nation.