$5B injected into housing sector — to create jobs, stimulate economy

Minister of State Joseph Harmon


GOVERNMENT will be investing $5 Billion in the housing sector for the delivery and construction of 758 housing units in Regions Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven and 10 in a bid to boost the economy.

Minister of State Joseph Harmon made this disclosure during a post-Cabinet press briefing at the Ministry of the Presidency on Thursday.

He said Government is taking every step to ensure economic activities are revitalised and that money continues to flow into the economy.

Responding to questions on reports of the country in an economic slow-down, and talks by some sections of the business community of laying-off workers, Harmon said these reports are taken very seriously by Cabinet.

He explained that due to these reports, President David Granger has at least on three occasions recently summoned some of the key sector ministers including finance, agriculture and business to look at options on how to address the slow-down.

Harmon said in responding to the slow-down, the Government is moving to “pump huge sums of money into the economy” that would generate employment and economic activities.

The money for the construction of these units is projected to have a ripple effect across the economy. It is expected to create employment opportunities for thousands and increase the demand for construction material.

“The economy is always on the forefront of our considerations, not only in the Cabinet but in all of our Government undertakings. The impact that the economy has on the people of this country is something which we are very careful about dealing with,” Harmon said.

He pointed out that the economic slow-down in the country has to be taken in conjunction with the economic reality of neighbouring countries such as Suriname, Brazil, Venezuela and Trinidad and Tobago which are in deep recession, due to falling oil prices and other economic crises.

“These economic (realities) are not strange, people are reading, they are on the Internet and they understand what is going on internationally,” he said, adding: “We are doing our best to ensure that we do not have to go down the road, where some of these countries have gone.”

Guyana has been dependent on traditional export products, and, as a result, the economy has suffered as bauxite, gold, sugar and rice prices have fallen.