May 20, 2015 News
By Kiana Wilburg
Based on its observations and in some cases, concrete evidence which it accumulated over the years,
the A Partnership for National Unity plus Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) has been unrelenting in its criticisms of the mismanagement of the Natural Resources sector.
Tipped to head this very Ministry, Dr. Rupert Roopnaraine in an interview yesterday told Kaieteur News that should he be confirmed to handle this division, there would be a serious “cleansing process.”
Speaking particularly on the affairs of the Forestry Sector, Dr. Roopnaraine said that his plans for this industry which he is most passionate about would not be too different from what he has outlined for mining.
The politician asserted that one of the very first things he would seek to look at is the contracts granted under the forestry division.
He said that it is important to note that the APNU+AFC government understands the importance of continuity in relation to some of those contracts with foreign investors, for “you can’t just go in there like wild people believing in scrapping everything in which the former government entered into.”
The politician emphasized however that the new administration has on the other hand, a responsibility to ensure all contracts were entered into in accordance with the law and should any irregularity in any set of contracts be detected, the appropriate action will be taken.
“But my hope is we can really bring these operations, the forestry sector and that of the mineral sector into a very orderly state and right now there is a lot of disorder in the forestry sector… I had a meeting with some people who are active in there and they have a lot of concerns…
“We have to get the full picture of what is happening in the sector and from where we were in the opposition there was never really enough information. We now have control of the state and we will use all the means at our disposal to get an accurate picture of everything that is happening within the Natural Resources Ministry,” Dr. Roopnaraine expressed.
The APNU Executive Member who has been shadowing this sector over the years said, too that he is alarmed by the shipment of logs out of the country and the lack of value added activity by those individuals.
Bai Shan Lin is one of the largest logging companies in Guyana for over ten years and is still unable to fulfill its promise of ensuring value added products in Guyana.
“We want to ensure that people who cut the forest will have value added first and not be shipping out or is just here to cut the logs. We will ensure that this is stamped out. It has to come to an end… It has to. We are not going to be tolerant at all of this.”
Dr. Roopnaraine said that Guyana is “getting nothing” and for him, it is unacceptable.
He said that while the government has not moved collectively towards this position, for him it is “if you can’t add value then you can’t be allowed to subtract from the forests.”
The politician said that the APNU+AFC government will be making moves to regularize this very soon.
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