May 24, 2017 News
—Granger insists Govt. has done well
By Kiana Wilburg
In spite of the unrelenting criticisms of failure by the People’s Progressive Party (PPP), President
David Granger is maintaining that in the space of two years, his government has accomplished much to be proud of.
In fact, he says, “I think we have done well.”
Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo, recently lambasted the government regarding its publication of a two page spread in the local newspapers, speaking to its achievements.
Granger however, is not moved by any of the Opposition’s criticisms.
He told Kaieteur News, “The Opposition will oppose… (But) I do feel that the (centre) spread which you saw is reflective of the achievements that have took place within the last two years. We are working. It is a work in progress.”
Additionally, the President believes that Guyanese are beginning to realize, better, the predicament the government found itself in when it won the May 2015 elections.
Granger recalled the many challenges the government was left to face regarding the indebtedness in the sugar industry, the failed fibre optic cable project on which $1.3B has been wasted, and the US$200M Skeldon Sugar Factory which is falling to pieces and has to be divested.
“We are gradually making Guyana a more transparent society. We have taken action with regard to AML (Anti Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism), we brought a British Security Advisor to provide advice on the police force in particular and the security situation in general.
“I think that we have done well. The newspaper report is an accurate description of what we have achieved. We realize we have more to do.”
With regard to the government’s efforts in the fight against corruption, Granger said, “Corrupt people don’t leave their fingerprints all over the place.”
The President said that the Government had to make moves to bring certain Bills before Parliament and has made better use of the State Asset Recovery Unit (SARU) and the Special Organized Crime Unit (SOCU).
“In due course, I am confident that Guyana would be a more lawfully administered country.”
Supporting Granger’s position was Prime Minister and First Vice President, Moses Nagamootoo.
He, too, concurred that when one is in the opposition, it is easy to resist anything. The First Vice President maintained that in the last two years, the coalition administration has been grappling with the corruption left behind by the Ramotar and Jagdeo administrations.
“We are trying to put in place the legal and the institutional framework. For example, for two decades there was no Public Service Appellate Tribunal…You have the AML laws, the new State Assets Recovery Agency law, we have the Public Procurement Commission set up. So what you are seeing now are institutional measures to deal with corruption being put in place.”
Nagamootoo also noted that he is not bothered by the criticisms of underachievement by the Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo. In fact, he believes PPP officials are now running from the shadows of what they did.
The administration recently made it clear that it has more than 125 things that it has achieved, including lowering the Berbice Bridge tolls, a cleaner city, holding Local Government Elections in more than two decades, less piracy and more transparency.
In a two-page spread published in this newspaper, the coalition, which comprises A Partnership For National Unity (APNU) and the Alliance For Change (AFC), insisted that Guyana is “moving forward”.
The administration pointed that it has introduced buses that offer free transportation to school children, paved the way for 4G internet for smartphones, rekindled pride in the country and lowered the crime rate.
There has been an increase in salaries for public servants and almost 70,000 persons are exempted from income tax.
On the labour front, collective bargaining has been restored with reduced house lot costs, better drainage and irrigation, and more pumps have been installed.
With respect to updating the country’s laws, work has started to reform the Constitution with one key report already completed.
During the two years, under the coalition, there has been a review of the Integrity legislation for public officials, rehabilitation of the Mazaruni prisons and a successful gun amnesty programme. A Code of Conduct for public officials has also been completed and dozens of state boards reconstituted.
Be that as it may, Jagdeo has since deemed the Government’s promotion of its achievements to be farcical.
He opined that despite the utterances and publicized accomplishments, Guyanese are still feeling the squeeze.
‘Jagdeo said the advertisement, “at the end the day, means nothing to the people. This means nothing to them and their lives.”
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