“GUYANA’S development is guided by a national development strategy (that came about) as a result of consultation between Government and (the) people,” revealed Minister within the Ministry of Finance, Bishop Juan Edghill, on the radio programme “Hard Talk” aired last Sunday.
Responding to criticisms from A Partnership For National Unity Member of Parliament, James Bond that the People’s Progressive Party/Civic Government was not doing enough to promote agro-processing in Guyana, Minister Edghill posited that, with the realisation of the Amaila Falls Hydro Project, a sustainable agro-processing industry would be developed. The Minister said: “The issue has always been the cost of electricity where agro-processing is concerned…. The vision for cheaper and reliable electricity to open up possibilities in Guyana has always been on the (PPP/C) agenda.”
He continued: “The reasons why we needed Amaila is for cheaper, reliable and renewable electricity to create jobs, industrialisation, manufacturing, as well as agro processing.”
The Minister pointed out that the strategic plan of the PPP/C is to roll out development over a period of time in a way that could be managed and sustained. He said that, in addition to the development of hydro-power, studies were also conducted to determine the viability of producing cheap and reliable solar power, and the establishment of windfarms.
Edghill said the vision of the PPP/C Government is to have cheap and reliable bandwidth and electricity available, thereby creating an enabling environment for foreign direct investment.
Edghill accused the Opposition political parties of ‘scaring away’ foreign investors through their constant attacks. Bond’s claim was that the Opposition action resulted from Government’s refusal to include the Opposition in the development plans, but Edghill reminded that the APNU point man on finance (Carl Greenidge) had been contacted, and he refused to engage with the Ministry of Finance.
The Minister accused the Opposition member of, among other things, criticising the programmes being pursued without offering any alternative, and repackaging the programmes already being pursued and claiming it as their own.
The hour-long programme saw the two politicians debating both policy and personal political views in the lead-up to the May 11 election.