Here we go again. Freddie Kissoon saying, “I told you so.” I was the only person until Sunday who opined that the Private Sector Commission (PSC) under Ramesh Dookhoo of Banks DIH was not a stakeholder interested in social stability but was content to be politically supportive of the PPP Government.
My constant analysis of the PSC’s political positions led me to highlight the political role of Dookhoo with my call for his resignation. I sat in the University of Guyana Council with Mr. Dookhoo.
He is more a PPP aficionado than the dyed in the wool PPP supporter. Mr. Dookhoo’s politics is so openly biased that he cannot lead an important nationally respected stakeholder like the business community and should not be allowed to lead it.
Now read this. Writing on the PPP attempt to successfully execute its propaganda against the budget, last Sunday editorial of the Stabroek News had this to say: “More recently, the PPP attempted it (its strategy) through a surrogate in the form of the Private Sector Commission, some of whose executives are not above behaving as if they represent the Government, rather than the business community.” These are not the words of Freddie Kissoon but the Stabroek News.
Some nasty facts about the PSC have remained uncommented on. First, the PSC’s representative on the Ethnic Relations Commission, Mr. John Willems, together with Juan Edghill formed a two-man operation in the ERC. For five years these two persons formed the ERC Commission.
For those five years that I attended stakeholders’ meetings with the ERC, only Willems and Edghill appeared. In 2010, the duo became a trio when Mr. Carvil Duncan joined them. In all these years of ERC controversies, the PSC said nothing about the manipulation of the ERC which was reduced to a farce under this arrangement.
It was the PSC delegate to the Advisory Committee on Broadcasting, Mr. Norman McLean along with its Government appointed Chairman that voted in favour of the six months suspension of channel 6.
Mr. Ramesh Dookhoo penned a letter in the Stabroek News in support of the government’s action against the Stabroek Market Square vendors. But guess who open their mouths and are the first to cry when social disruption visits Guyana when political dialogue fails – our business community.
Now we have the nonsense of the PSC anger over the budget cuts. But here are some interesting facts for Ramesh Dookhoo. Let’s see how the PSC deals with these revelations. If you take away the $18 billion for the LCDS because it was a projection not an actual sum, the cuts, according to Christopher Ram, amounts to 0.25 percent of the total budget.
The PSC wants to talk to Opposition Leader Granger because it is contending that those cuts will impact adversely on business prospects.
But the budget for Region Four was cut by the Minister of Finance by 76 percent. The Regional Chairman told me this in his office two weeks ago. Region Four is a huge place in comparison with the rest of Guyana’s other nine regions. By what logic, the cuts of 0.25 percent to the national budget will undermine the business climate in Guyana and not the gigantic shaving off of three quarters of the Region Four budget? Yet we have heard not a word, not a whisper from the PSC.
Could it be that the silence is because Region Four is an APNU constituency and therefore it is not in the PSC’s political interest to denounce what Dr Ashni Singh did? But some players in the PSC want to please their political masters at Freedom House so they demand a meeting with the Opposition Leader. And as I showed in my last Sunday column, some surrogates (to use Stabroek News’s description) in the PSC have barefacedly asked the Opposition Leader as to why cuts were made to NCN when, if the opposition have problems with the way NCN is run, why not dialogue with the Government about it.
But why the PSC don’t dialogue with President Ramotar over NCN? Mr. David Granger, the Opposition Leader should reject the invitation on the condition that the PSC behave as a responsible national institution.
Mr. Granger should demand that the PSC take a position on the PPP dominated Council of the University of Guyana, the gutter nature of the Chronicle, the state of NCN’s operations, the immediate resuscitation of the Ombusman, the dastardly explanation that NCN and NICIL are private companies among other depravities perpetrated on this nation by the PPP Government.
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