Corporate leaders urged to monitor community projects
---Govt. removes consumption tax on peanuts
Guyana Chronicle
November 13, 2003

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CORPORATE leaders have been urged to monitor community projects, especially those being executed by Central Government, as part of the Jagdeo administration's policy on government-business collaboration in forging socio-economic development.

President Bharrat Jagdeo threw out this watchdog challenge to the leaders when he met with some of them at the Office of the President on Tuesday.

President Jagdeo also insisted that the country's Chambers of Commerce and Industry be represented on bodies responsible for the execution and monitoring of infrastructure projects and be given access to information on works in their jurisdiction.

The meeting, part of an ongoing government-business consultation process, also learned that Government had removed the consumption tax on peanuts.

The move will encourage farmers to expand commercial peanut cultivation and enable businesses to increase local market supplies and export processed peanuts.

The closed-door meeting, which started at 14:00 hrs, concluded over two and a half hours later.

Included in the President's delegation were Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce Manzoor Nadir, Minister of Finance Saisnarine Kowlessar, Prashad and Ambassador Bayney Karran.

The Chambers of Commerce were represented by:

1. Bartica Chamber of Commerce- Edward Skeete, President

2. Berbice Chamber of Commerce - Gyandat Marray, President

3. West Berbice Chamber of Commerce - Harry Ramnarine, Vice President

4. Upper Corentyne Chamber of Commerce -David Subnauth, President

5. Essequibo Chamber of Commerce - Samuel Arjoon, President

6. West Demerara/Essequibo Islands Chamber of Commerce - Joshua Safeek, President

7. Georgetown Chamber of Commerce - Edward Boyer, President

8. Linden Chamber of Commerce - Basil Jaipaul, Immediate Past President

9. Rupununi Chamber of Commerce - Alfred Ramsarran, President

President of the GMA Ramesh Dookhoo represented that organization.

The two sides discussed a wide range of topics, including the economy, the improved condition of the Lethem/Linden Road, cheap credit for manufacturers, and the new tax act.

A GINA release said the businessmen were "extremely happy" with the timing of the meeting and suggested quarterly consultations with the President.

Presidential Advisor on Investment, Mr. Manniram Prashad, has been charged with expediting solutions to the problems and issues affecting the business community.

The corporate leaders have been asked to submit position papers on some matters and to work on a draft agenda for the next meeting, to be held in January 2004.