Committees briefed on assignments

Guyana Chronicle
May 16, 2001

PRESIDENT Bharrat Jagdeo and Leader of the Opposition, Mr Desmond Hoyte yesterday met members of the six committees they have agreed on for specific assignments.

The two Monday agreed on the terms of reference of the committees to look at the series of matters they have been discussing, including enacting broadcast legislation and improving conditions in depressed communities.

The briefing took place at the Office of the President, Georgetown, venue for the series of meetings President Jagdeo and Mr Hoyte began last month.

In a joint statement after their Monday meeting, the two said they expect the committees to begin working today.

The President and Opposition Leader had earlier agreed to identify communities for early rehabilitation works and Monday named Non Pariel/Enterprise and Buxton on the East Coast Demerara and De Kinderen and Met-en-Meerzorg on the West Coast Demerara as areas where these works will begin.

Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Mr Reepu Daman Persaud and Mr Robert Corbin, Chairman of the main Opposition People's National Congress Reform (PNC/R) were earlier mandated by the President and Hoyte to meet and compose the committees and report back to them.

The committees are to look at options for the resuscitation of the bauxite industry; urgently examine and report on a national policy for the distribution of land and house lots; examine the needs of depressed communities across Guyana and submit a report in six months, along with identifying areas where works will begin as a priority; examine the issue of government monopoly of radio and non-partisan Boards of Directors for the state-owned media and the National Frequency Management Unit (NFMU) and enacting broadcast legislation for the responsible use of the media.

The group looking at the resuscitation of the bauxite industry will give priority to the proposal by the ALCOA firm of the U.S. for the Berbice bauxite operations and submit a final report within a month, the Chronicle understands.

The committee for distribution of land and house lots will, among other things, generally review and agree on a national policy for the distribution of land and house lots, having regard to the need for transparency and equity.

The task force on local government reform will generally ensure the conclusion of the constitutional reform process and give effect to the new constitutional provisions regarding local democracy.

Among other things, the committee looking at the needs of depressed communities will undertake a needs assessment survey in identified depressed communities throughout the country.

This is to be done through visits, community outreach meetings and consultations with community leaders, Neighbourhood Democratic Councils, Regional Democratic Councils, community organisations and residents.

Projects may include roads, dams, water supply, drainage and irrigation, social services, health, environmental and educational facilities and youth and women projects, the Chronicle understands.

The group looking at border and national security issues, including recapitalisation of the Guyana Defence Force will prepare and present proposals for a bi-partisan approach to border and national security issues, among other matters, sources said.

The meetings between the President and Mr Hoyte which began April 21, were initiated by President Jagdeo.