By Latoya Giles
Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Dr. Roger Luncheon, said yesterday that he wasn’t aware that former President Bharrat Jagdeo has been lobbying Government on behalf of the “Sun and Sand Group of Companies”.
Earlier this month the group out of India turned the sod for the construction of a US$54M five-star luxury hotel and casino at Liliendaal East Coast Demerara. Present at the event was the former president.
According to Luncheon, he knows that “all Guyanese” who are interested in the development of the country have an interest in bringing business into the country. He said that all of the people who have been associated with the government have seized these opportunities while travelling.
“They would say come to Guyana and invest, that’s what we have established throughout the years” Luncheon told the media yesterday.
“I cannot put my finger and say that the former President has been lobbying for any company,” Luncheon said.
Construction on the163-room hotel began immediately and will be completed in approximately 18 months.
The group also has an interest in investing in Guyana’s mining, housing and shipping sectors too. In India the group is involved in several areas, including hotel properties, service apartments, real estate and townships.
The construction of the Sun and Sand Hotel will include many modern conveniences and amenities including a casino and restaurants. When completed, the 290,000 square-foot hotel will also house a commercial block and club house of approximately 45,000 sq. ft. which is being touted to provide direct benefits to Guyanese through the provision of several hundred jobs.
Director of Sun and Sand Group of Companies, Bhushan Chandna, had explained that employees will benefit from training to provide high level services in the hospitality industry. The anticipated knowledge and information transfer will be of substantial value to the Guyanese human resource pool.
He said that the hotel will also provide indirect benefits as it serves as a significant catalyst to Guyana’s growing tourism sector and the economy in general.
The Director said the company has decided to invest locally, “because Guyana is an upcoming country that has a stable economy.” He noted that as Guyana continues to grow economically, the demand for additional services especially in the hospitality sector will increase.
Chandna also noted that the company wants to expand its operations here and contribute to the growth of the country. “Our motto is to bring luxury and pleasure so as to enhance Guyana’s tourism,” the Director stated.
The hotel and casino is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2016 and Chandna expressed gratitude to the Guyana Government for being investor friendly.
President Donald Ramotar said that Guyana can become a tourism destination and the construction of another hotel adds to the development and expansion of attracting airlines and businesses to Guyana.
The President said that the landscape and skylines are changing in the country. This will have a spin off effect to stimulate tourism and benefit communities.
“The government will facilitate and encourage these kinds of investments in our society and a good business environment in which works can be carried out.”
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