Jan 06, 2014 News
“…our natural resources are finite and if in one generation all are given out what will happen to future generations” – Harmon
Muri Brasil Ventures Incorporated has blamed its pullout of the Permission for Geographical and Geophysical Surveys (PGGS) on prejudice and hostility but A Partnership for National Unity’s (APNU) Executive Member, Joseph Harmon, believes that it was in fact the scrutiny and exposures that resulted in the decision.
Commenting on the matter yesterday, Harmon said, “there was no hostility on our part or on the part of the media.”
He said that it was the exposure of the information that should have been in the public domain even before the permission was granted.
Harmon warned too that this level of scrutiny will be applied to all future transactions.
He said that this level of scrutiny must be applied to all allocations of such large scale areas of land.
According to Harmon, “our natural resources are finite and if in one generation all are given out what will happen to future generations.”
The APNU Executive Member believes that the nation is in fact indebted to the level of scrutiny that was focused on the Muri PGGS.
He said that in future the same level of scrutiny will be applied to ensure that there is probity and transparency.
Harmon believes that companies must be thoroughly scrutinized before any such deals are inked, to ensure that they have the capacity to undertake their proposed ventures.
As it relates to Muri’s claim of hostility, Harmon said that it was the same ‘blame game nonsense’ that was used when the Amaila Falls Hydroelectric project fell through and the government resorted to blaming the opposition.
Muri Brasil Ventures Incorporated on Saturday last made the announcement that it had pulled out of the PGGS it had been granted by the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC).
The company in its announcement said that although the process was legal and transparent, “this decision is due to the misinformation, prejudice and hostility to this proposed survey by persons and agencies which are fostering an adverse investment climate in Guyana.”
The news came just days after Minister of Public Works, Robeson Benn, had confirmed that the Ministry denied permission to the company for the construction of an airstrip.
Muri had previously announced that it was awaiting permission from the Ministry to build an airstrip to facilitate its aerial surveys.
Benn had told media operatives that an application was made for an airstrip in the New River Triangle area and approval had not been granted.
He was adamant that the refusal of the permission for the airstrip had nothing to do with the imbroglio in the press over the company and the terms of its agreement.
Ever since it was discovered that Minister Robert Persaud had authorized granting the PGGS, several commentators had come out in condemnation and called for it to be recalled.
Minister Benn was asked if refusing permission for the airstrip was not a backdoor approach to ending the PGGS to which he responded that this was not the case.
He said the application had been made long before the disputation in the press over the company and its PGGS.
Benn said that as it relates to his Ministry’s decision, it was a question of whether there is really need for an airstrip in the area and also whether it would present additional difficulties in terms of security and oversight.
Critics of the PGGS had called it a threat to national security.
The Muri debacle had sparked a livid public debate as to the Government’s policy on mining in the disputed area.
The military has traditionally warned against mining in the area but Government’s chief spokesperson, Dr. Roger Luncheon had said that the army has no say in making the decision.
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