Minister of Housing and Water, Mr. Irfaan Ali, and Taslim Baksh, Finance Officer of Central Housing & Planning Authority (CH&PA), assert I am wrong when I said the PPP is profiting from selling the Guyanese people their own land.
The Ministry of Housing submitted audited financial statements before Parliament. The Ministry says in those numbers that it made $1.94 billion in 2010. It claims I was wrong when I stated expenditure was $692 million. It states that expenditure was really $1.2 billion.
I am no fancy Finance Officer or auditor or accountant, but $1940 million less $1200 million still gives a leftover of $740 million.
Mr. Baksh stated the CH&PA surplus in 2010 was $692.3 million.
This $692.3 million is evidence that the Ministry of Housing is making a profit from selling the Guyanese people their own land.
Anyway it slices it, it is making a profit. I maintain the distribution of housing in Guyana is a moneymaking scheme.
There is mention of money given to the Ministry by government. That is taxpayers’ money being parachuted into the Ministry.
That money comes from taxes paid by all Guyanese including those buying house lots from the PPP government.
Taxpayers are paying for any subsidies the Ministry of Housing claims it is providing in delivering house lots. This is not PPP’s money. This is taxpayers’ money.
Taxpayers are paying for the infrastructural works on lands they will buy at ridiculous prices from the same government.
Another case of being ripped off using their tax dollars. If Guyana gets a loan from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to benefit housing, it is the Guyanese people who will have to repay that loan.
That loan must be repaid through their taxes. No government can claim it is giving a subsidy when it is doing so with taxpayers’ own money or loans taxpayers will have to repay themselves.
The cost of infrastructural works on these house lots raises a lot of questions. The often poor quality of work being delivered does not match the cost claimed.
Take Diamond for example. A major housing scheme of approximately 40,000 people and there is only one major road going in and out of the scheme.
That road barely fits two lanes, is potholed in sections and is of poor quality. CH&PA Finance Officer, Mr. Baksh, cherrypicked two housing schemes to show us how much is being spent as a subsidy to develop the land in those schemes.
He claims $527,027 per lot was spent on a low income scheme and $551,839 per lot on a middle income scheme. Is this PPP government telling us that it spends over half a million dollars to develop each little lot? Is it really spending that kinda money to deliver the generally substandard infrastructure within these schemes?
The roads disappear in some of these schemes when rainy season arrives. To claim you are giving the Guyanese people a subsidy is ridiculous when the money claimed as being spent on these lots seems bizarrely out of touch with the poor quality of actual works performed, if they are performed at all.
This is a PPP government that wants to sell land to remigrants, the very people who can bring vital revenue into this country, for $4 million to $7 million for a little lot. Aren’t remigrants Guyanese too? Are the Pradoville mansion owners being subsidised too?
Why didn’t Mr. Baksh post the subsidy statistics for Pradoville 2? The Ministry of Housing is not telling us how cheaply private developers are getting the Guyanese people’s land.
They are not telling us how exorbitantly those private developers are marking up that land to resell it to the Guyanese people. The PPP has no claim when it comes to housing.
A policy to sell the Guyanese people their own land for a fortune in a country where our forefathers slaved and were indentured, is not success on housing. Nor is spending taxpayers’ own money insanely to fatten the pockets of contractors who deliver shoddy work in those schemes. The Guyanese people who are already paying 33% income taxes plus 16% VAT plus 5% NIS every paycheque plus living in a cost of living nightmare must pay a fortune in this PPP paradise for a piece of land in a scheme with poor infrastructure.
The PPP’s boast on housing has to be one of the biggest Ponzi schemes ever run in Guyana. Spending the people’s own money to dig some trenches and to cut a few dams pretending to be roads and then charging them more for a small piece of land is one of the biggest profit making moves ever run in this country.
The PPP cannot keep playing the Guyanese people for a fool in their own land. Things will change come election 2011.
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