Why APNU/AFC’s term in office has been an abysmal failure

first_imgDear Editor,By any major measure, APNU has been a failure. Here are a few instances:1. Drained disposable income of the populace by extracting a 50 per cent increase in taxation over the 2015 to 2018 period. The implementation of over 200 tax measures has seen annual tax revenue at $200 billion in 2018, vs $135 billion in 2014, a whopping 65 billion increase on the backs of the populace. Small wonder the average man is feeling the squeeze.2. Stifled and scared-away investment. With almost four years since the coalition came to power, not a single major private or public investment project has materialised. Instead, the APNU is simply reaping the benefits of investment projects and financing arranged by the PPP Government. From Exxon to the Cheddi Jagan airport, to the new gold mines, manganese mines, bauxite mines – all of these were arranged by the PPP. All new investment has stalled due to the bureaucracy and ineptitude of this APNU/AFC Government. Had APNU not scuttled the Amaila Falls project, a total of US$850 million would have been invested in Guyana and 165 Megawatts of power would have been available this year into the grid at 10 cents per kilowatts. Instead, the country faces blackouts. Nationalisation of the Berbice Bridge is yet another example and, of course, the derailing of the speciality hospital by awarding the contract to a client of an AFC Government Minister.3. Abandoned, ignored of reneged on every major promise made in the APNU/AFC manifesto. Instead of inclusionary policies, measures to improve prosperity, good governance, improving accountability and transparency and zero corruption, the APNU/AFC has ignored each of these. Their performance has been the exact opposite. No wonder the populace is fed-up.4. Draining of foreign reserves and gold reserves by over US$400 million and incurring an overdraft with the Central Bank (illegal) of over US$250 million. As if increased taxation was not enough.5. The populace has lost confidence. Just look at the Local Government Elections (LGE) results. A whopping landslide win for PPP with 61 per cent of the votes vs 34 per cent for APNU and 4 per cent for the AFC.6. Loss of no-confidence vote in Parliament following Charrandas Singh voting with the Opposition in protest of closing the sugar estates and ignoring the plight of the sugar workers.The evidence of the abysmal failure of APNU/AFC is clear. The Parliament and the public have lost confidence in the APNU/AFC coalition Government. Elections must be held in accordance with the Constitution. Elections must be held now.Sincerely,A Grantlast_img read more

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Local government to become more independent

first_img…as reform project is launchedA plan aimed at improving and reorganising Guyana’s Local Government sector has been launched by the Ministry of Communities, in collaboration with the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).The ‘Local Government Reform Project’ will seek to build the capacity of the Communities Ministry, The Guyana Association of Municipalities (GAM), and the municipalities that support local democratic organs (LDOs), all while ensuring that they are better equipped to manage their respective obligations in an effective and efficient manner.The project would identify the necessary tools and resources that the various entities would need for reform, and would provide a decentralised approach to the delivery of public service and improvement of community participation in the local government arena.The project would also identify avenues for potential partnerships, collaboration and cooperation in hope of making a contribution to economic development.One of the dire areas highlighted is the Local Government’s reliance on Central Government for funding. This feature was deemed ‘inadequate’ for local government service delivery. Therefore, a main objective of the project is to branch off the available public resources, so that local government can be financially independent.Local Government was described as having the potential to become a key driver in transforming the economy for better, as noted by Dr. Justin Ram, Director of Economics at the CDB.“Local Government can be much more than a conduit for the provision of Central Government services. By being closer to local communities, it is better placed to find local solutions to local problems, freeing up Central Government to address the many national challenges it faces today and will face in future,” he stated at the launching.Additionally, the MoC/CDB project intends to incorporate vulnerable populations, such as women, children, youth, the elderly, persons with disabilities, marginalised groups, and those disadvantaged by poverty or other circumstances.On a similar note, Ram touched on the importance of youth in Government. “It will seek to address the difficulties that young people in Guyana face, and provide opportunities to better engage youth in the governance process,” he noted.Another component of the project would include possible legislative reform and a synchronising of existing legislation which govern the local democratic organs; and the programme also aims at reviewing the current rate collection process, including the requisite property value updates, as well as examine other avenues for revenue generation.A State Paper presented by the late President Hoyte to the National Assembly, titled “Reorganisation of the Local Government System in Guyana”, stated that, in their original construct, local authorities could not cope with the massive and complicated developmental demands of their respective areas, because the intrinsic design of the system presented legal, organisational and other inhibitors to any effort and ambition of the councils.Therefore, the Ministry’s overall mandate is to transform the local government landscape through capacity-building at all levels, to improve accountability and transparency, which would inevitably accommodate the transfer of greater autonomy and decentralisation.last_img read more

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