Sep 23, 2020 Letters
The small loggers of Region 10 would like to congratulate the Government of Guyana and particularly the Minister of Natural Resources, Mr. Vickram Bharrat, for a Budget that will revitalize the forest sector and improve the lives of thousands of rural and hinterland households.
The past five years have been the worst for small loggers in Guyana, especially in Region 10 which is supposedly a stronghold for the then government. Proud loggers who were accustomed to earn a decent living for themselves and their families were on the breadline, literally starving. As such, the many inventions by the current government will surely play a significant role in providing the necessary incentives for the sector to once again thrive.
We must not forget how the once thriving Guyana Forestry Commission was bankrupt within a short period by the previous government. The loggers and the regulators suffered alike, but no more again, never. The many incentives for the sector will not only support small loggers and their families, but will also generate funds for the Commission to maintain its operations and pay staff on time as it used to prior 2015.
Further, I must point out that many of the incentives and measures for the forest sector in Budget 2020 resulted from the sector itself following numerous engagements with Minister Bharrat who was apprised of the situation and what needs to be done. This is a reflection of a government listening to stakeholders and making the necessary adjustment to policies such as the Log Export Policy, allowing logs to be exported. Additionally, tax concessions on all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), removal of VAT on all exports and removal of VAT on Hinterland Travel will benefit everyone within the forestry sector.
In moving forward, I would like to urge the Minister of Natural Resources to continue his efforts to engage all stakeholders within the natural resources sector making positive representation to the government for all Guyanese. All small loggers of Region 10 would like to commend your efforts Hon. Minister as we look forward to more engagements and policy decisions that will transform the forest sector for the benefit of all stakeholders.
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