Better things in store for next year-Ramotar

Guyana Chronicle
December 24, 2002

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THE People's Progressive Party (PPP) yesterday indicated that the past year has been very complicated and extremely eventful with the local political situation marked by several events.

General Secretary of the PPP, Mr. Donald Ramotar, noted that the political dialogue, which had promised so much in terms of political stability and in creating the environment of taking Guyana forward economically, was put on 'pause' by the main opposition People's National Congress Reform (PNC/R).

"At the same time the PNC/R began absenting themselves from the National Assembly (and) together those acts created a political atmosphere that was difficult and an environment (which) enabled anti-social activities," Ramotar said at an end-of-year news conference the party hosted at its Freedom House headquarters, Robb Street, Georgetown.

According to him, most of this was manifested in the rise of crime in our society, a rise which began with the escape of five most dangerous criminals on February 23rd last. It was accelerated in April this year with the killing of Police Superintendent Leon Fraser.

Ramotar also feels that the Guyana Police Force has been "singled out" over the past year and is a target of the well-armed bandits. Only yesterday morning, another Policeman - Constable Robenson - was brutally gunned down in Sophia. That has brought to 13, the number of Policemen gunned down this year by murderous criminals.

The PPP General Secretary admitted that Guyana's economy operated in a very unfavourable international economic environment, and all the major economies of the world experienced great difficulties and a big fall in consumer demand. This is particularly true of Guyana's main trading partners, that is, the European Union and the U.S., he said.

"In the circumstances of unfavourable international and national conditions, our country's economic performances based on the available statistics could be described as creditable. Even though the figures are not yet ready it seems that we will have a positive growth of our GDP (Gross Domestic Product)," Ramotar said.

"During this year we have seen the continued good performance of sugar and increased production in poultry. Indeed we are now self sufficient in poultry. Despite the problems in rice, we think that its performance was good and we are possibly beginning to see that industry emerging from the slump of 2001," he told reporters.

"In mining we have seen gold production doing well, so too is the price of gold. There has been an increased declaration of diamond production as well. This year, too, has seen us moving closer to obtaining some strategic investment in LINMINE that will no doubt invigorate the economic life of Region 10 communities," he said.

Ramotar feels that in the coming year, the momentum in our economy will increase further.

"Great prospects exist for our livestock industry, particularly since our country has been certified as being free of the dreaded Foot and Mouth diseases (and) quite likely we can begin broadening the base of our foreign exchange earnings by exporting meat, poultry and also to increase the aqua culture production," he said.

"With better road links to the south of our country, we can experience more trade with our neighbour and integrate our country further and in the coming period ahead, we hope to support the further advancement of the social condition of our people (where) emphasis will continue to be placed on education, health and housing (which) will certainly improve our human capital and provide conditions for an improved standard of living," the PPP's GS stated.

"This year, too, we hope that electricity would be provided for those villages that were passed over by the last PNC regime and the new housing areas will also benefit from this essential service (and) we would only be limited by the crime situation and any unconstitutional acts leading to political instability," he added.

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