PPP dubs PNC's predictions economic fright- says local dollar will not be devalued

Stabroek News
March 23, 1998

The People's Progressive Party (PPP) rejects attempts by the People's National Congress (PNC) to discredit the remarkable economic progress Guyana has made since 1992 and to cause "economic fright" in the country.

In a release issued on Friday, the ruling PPP demanded that the PNC desist from its "untruths and its patently unpatriotic acts to discourage and frighten the business community and ordinary Guyana."

The release from the PPP said that contrary to pronouncements from political and economic pundits close to the PNC, the economy grew by 6.3% last year. This was combined with a low inflation rate of 4.1% and the PPP/Civic administration's success in winning debt relief to the tune of US$253 million in net present value terms or US$500 million over 20 years.

The party noted that unlike previous years, economic growth did not come from the traditional areas of sugar, rice and forestry which provide jobs for a majority of our people. This is a direct result of the effects of the devastating El Nino weather phenomenon, the PPP said, urging the PNC not to ignore the facts and reality of the international economic situation and the negative consequences of the prolonged dry weather.

"The prophets of economic doom in the minority camp should note that the problems we encountered in 1997 are still with us as the EL Nino weather patterns continue to exact a high toll on our economy," the party said.

The PPP said that the charge of mismanagement of the economy had no basis in fact and was designed to achieve one goal--to frighten people, especially the private sector.

"There is no need for the business community to engage in speculative transactions in the foreign exchange market. There is no need for anyone to pay a premium for foreign currency and there is no point for the private sector, cambios and the commercial banks to hoard foreign currency because the Guyana dollar will not be devalued," the PPP said.