Apr 16, 2013 Letters Comments Off on Poor governance has stalled development in Guyana
It is clear that those in authority lack the intellectual foundation and adequate pedigree in the art of good governance. As part of good governance, the Government has a duty to consult, engage and involve the people on what projects and plans are in the 2013 Budget for them.
Did anyone visit the New Amsterdam Town Hall and have a public consultation with the people on the 2013 Budget? Did they visit the Albion or the Skeldon Community Centres and consult the people on what they want in the Budget? Did they discuss the budget with the people in Demerara or Essequibo? Was anyone consulted in Georgetown?
It is clear that the insensitive administration is not interested in consulting anyone (not even their own members and supporters) other than themselves, on issues of concern to the citizens.
For instance, rather than misleading the United Nations and the Parliament of Guyana, the Presidential Advisor on Governance, Ms. Gail Teixeira should have advised her colleagues to reach out and consult Guyanese on the budget.
Rather than accusing the opposition of being racist because they have exposed the PPP regime for supporting a foreign contractor who refused to hire Guyanese workers to build the Marriott Hotel, Ms. Teixeira should use her high office to make sure that Guyanese workers are not discriminated against by such contractors.
She can better serve the nation by listening to the plight of the people and use her office to do something about it. Rather than speaking fluff in Parliament constantly, Ms. Teixeira should use her position as the PPP Chief Whip to make sure that the masses and not only the wealthy receive adequate benefits from the budget.
This PPP Government has spent over two trillion dollars since the Jagdeo/Ramotar administrations took power from the Jagans, and it is clear that they are asking the people to carry this heavy burden, but they do not want to be accountable to them.
Only the PPP cronies have a monopoly on new ideas for economic and human development.
What a human development tragedy that the Marriott Hotel is being built with 100% foreign labour! This project is a shameful abuse of the principle of good governance and to all Guyanese.
It is the duty of the government to spend the taxpayers’ money on all the people. However, when it comes to bringing the benefits to those on the lower tiers, it is way below the expected level of satisfaction and nothing is being done to improve the situation. This happens in all the services: namely education, healthcare, sanitation, water, power, road, drainage, agriculture and many other areas of societal importance. Even in the procuring of a house-lot, the citizens have to struggle; most despicable indeed.
A Government is responsible for bringing smiles to the faces of the people if it can enact the appropriate policies, laws and facilitating societal transformation; and not steal the people’s resources.
More than 280,000 persons who exist below the poverty line face the most difficult challenge to uplift their lives, but the administration has so far done nothing substantial to help them.
Our GDP should be growing at 8%; rather, we continue to grow at 4% thus placing thousands more into the army of the poor. This government needs to focus immediately on:
1. Value added agriculture and food processing (rice cereals, packaged rice cakes, tinned rice pudding, more packaged sugar, bio-energy, agro-tourism, packages and chopped fruits and vegetables for the export market);
2. Reliable and quality electric power, surface transport and infrastructure for all parts of the country;
3. Education and Healthcare for all;
4. Private Sector-driven Information and Communication Technology; and
5. Strategic sectors such as ethanol production, a deep water harbour; the road to Brazil; oil production; and job creation at the basic level (the AFC in its Action Plan recommended creating 5,000 jobs immediately to clean Guyana up).
Implementation of these programmes in an integrated way and in a timely manner, and in a cost effective fashion, will help Guyana turn the corner on our creeping human development disaster. The question is, can the PPP do it?
Dr. Asquith Rose and Harish S. Singh
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