PNC/R says govt being negative, unconstructive
Stabroek News
October 20, 2002

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The PNC/R says that one of the sad features of the political climate is the increasingly negative and unconstructive attitude of the government to any attempt by that party to offer a hand of cooperation on any subject.

This attitude, the PNC/R charged, has wrecked the whole process of dialogue and cooperation.

At the party's weekly press briefing at Congress Place on Thursday, PNC/R Central Executive member Lance Carberry said that the most recent example of negativity by the PPP/C was the reaction of the government to the proposals outlined by PNC/R leader Desmond Hoyte at a public meeting in Buxton last week. He had proposed there that the community was in need of a major injection of social and economic programmes to resolve the complex issues at work.

Carberry noted that in response, the PPP/C said through Minister within the Ministry of Regional Develop-ment and Local Government, Clinton Collymore that the government had already spent that sum in Buxton.

The second claim, he said, was made by President Bharrat Jagdeo "and some of his thoughtful acolytes that the proposal was in effect a ransom demand. The response was extraordinary and insensitive, which could make the problems the country is currently facing more intractable than they are at the present time."

He contended that the government was unable to maintain a common policy or maintain a consistent line. He said that while they claimed to have carried out such a programme and called the suggestion a ransom, they also announced that Ministerial advisor on Empowerment Odinga Lumumba will spearhead such a programme.

Information liaison to the President, Robert Persaud in a statement issued to the media in response to the PNC/R statement on Thursday, described Hoyte's address at a recent public meeting in Buxton as a fiasco which had met with a public outcry and can account for the PNC/R's most recent slew of distortions and misrepresentations.

Commenting on the PPP/C's ten years in office, Carberry said that party has attempted to rebut claims about its "sorry" record in office on the basis of its propaganda and infrastructural works completed in the period.

While not denying that some work was done, Carberry said that the projects were all negotiated and in place when the PPP/C acceded to office in 1992; every single project administered by the PPP/C has gone overtime and has been mired in delays; and the projects run by the PPP/C have been a vehicle for graft, corruption and sleaze.

Carberry said that the government's emphasis on project spending has facilitated endemic corruption at all levels of government.

Responding to the PNC/R's claims, Persaud in a statement issued to the media said that the PNC/R has falsified the party's legacy in government and misrepresents the achievements and progress of the people under the PPP/C.

Persaud quoted from then finance minister, Carl Greenidge's 1991 budget speech in which he said bauxite production was very disappointing; sugar output fell to 130,000 tons, a mere 76% of the original target; rice production, the lowest in 14 years, also fell some 40% below the target; there was a 30% decline in the output of livestock; GDP instead of rising, actually fell by some 3.5%.

Refuting Persaud's claims on what the PPP/C inherited based on the 1991 budget speech, Carberry noted that that speech made reference to production figures for 1990 but Persaud did not refer to the 1992 budget speech which related to the production figures for 1991 when the economy recorded a 2% growth rate which was a direct result of the Economic Recovery Programme instituted by the Hoyte administration. The PPP/C, he said, did not prepare the 1992 budget.

He said they took over the reins of office when the economy was on the upswing and failed miserably to take advantage of the momentum. (Miranda La Rose)