Chairman of the People’s National Congress Reform, Basil Williams, yesterday at the party’s weekly press briefing, again lashed out at the administration saying that its incompetence knows no bounds and it seems that its inability to deliver a finalised Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) to the European Union (EU) is likely to cost this nation another 12M euros.
He said that the EU had identified 40M euros as Budget support but it seems that 12 M euros of that sum is yet to be disbursed as the European Commission is awaiting the final document from the Government of Guyana.
He said that as usual, the Jagdeo Administration has given one of its twisted and least credible explanations for its incompetence.
He said that Dr. Roger Luncheon, who is now clearly swamped by too many responsibilities, has claimed that the Cabinet has approved the PRSP but parliamentary consideration has not been concluded.
“The PNCR wishes to go on record that it is totally unaware of any PRSP being submitted to the National Assembly for its consideration…This must be a figment of Dr. Luncheon’s imagination.”
He added also that his party, like the other Opposition political parties, and national stakeholders are quite justified in criticizing the administration for losing, “because of inefficiency and incompetence,” more than $6B in funding from the EU, which was intended for improving the sugar sector and the diversification of the economy.
According to Williams it has been reported that the funds were lost because, among other lapses, the sugar action plan was submitted three months beyond the required deadline. “No amount of propaganda spin, however skilled, can conceal this disaster.”
The party’s vice chairman told media operatives that the loss of such a substantial amount of money is almost criminal, in view of the reality of the precarious financial situation facing the country.
“Therefore, there is urgent need for the diversification of the economy to generate economic growth and the creation of jobs and incomes.”
He said that the PNCR was of the belief that firm action should be taken against those individuals and organisations, which are accountable and responsible for the loss of budgetary support to the national treasury.
“The Jagdeo Administration should sanction those who are responsible and also to say how such monies would be replaced…Silence and evasion on this matter is not acceptable…It is too important an issue to be swept under the carpet.”
Williams said that ultimately, the spectacle of a sovereign Government being unable to submit documentation, in a timely fashion, in order to access funding from a major institution such as the EU is not only alarming, but suggest that the Government itself has become dysfunctional.
He added, too, that the loss of the EU funding also points to the culture of mismanagement. Incompetence, like corruption, has become endemic in the Jagdeo Administration.
“Perhaps, it is an indication of the reality of micro-management and one man rule patently subverting the national interest.”
Williams also said that his party must signal its alarm at the fact that the funding for the Security Sector Reform Programme (SSRP), by the British Government, seems to be threatened by disagreements and differences between the Jagdeo Administration and the British Government.
“The Party hopes that the recommendation by Dr. Luncheon that the government withdraws from the SSRP, as reported in the press, is rejected…The differences with the British Government can be composed…Cool heads and logical minds can do this.”
He posited that once the disagreements and differences are ironed out, the Jagdeo Administration must move with energy to secure the funding for the SSRP and ensure its smooth implementation.
“The SSRP is important for the reform and strengthening of the security sector…. A strong security sector is a vital requirement in the fight against crime…a secure environment will ensure protection for our citizens and help in the creation of an environment which can attract legitimate investors.”
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