AFC reports cordial and informative meeting with PSC

The Alliance for Change (AFC) is reporting that it had a cordial dinner meeting with the Private Sector Commission (PSC) on the 2012 budget and the cuts made therein, while A Partnership for National Unity prefers to meet with a wider cross section of the society and not just the PSC.

“We had dinner last night with the PSC. It was cordial and informative. We will be issuing a press release this week,” said AFC Chairman Khemraj Ramjattan.

Dr Rupert Roopnaraine, speaking on behalf of APNU said that the PSC wrote requesting a meeting on the impact on the budget cuts.

“We said we want a wider consultation involving labour and other NGOs,” said Dr Roopnaraine, adding that this the party communicated to the PSC.

The PSC after a meeting to discuss the impact of the $21 billion in cuts made to the $192.8 billion 2012 national budget sought a meeting with Leader of the Opposition David Granger, President Donald Ramotar and the PPP/C.

The PSC said the cuts will affect the private sector and this was a concern for the growth and development of the private sector.

The PSC was concerned that the axing of funds from the one laptop per family programme would directly affect the fortunes of the private sector.

A total of $170 million was cut from the one laptop programme and $18.39 billion cut from the LCDS programme, whose allocation catered for the government’s portion of the equity investment in the Amaila Falls Hydro project in the amount of about $16.4 billion.

“We are extremely unhappy about some of them,” a PSC source had said. “We asked the Leader of the Opposition to meet with us so that we could get an understanding of what he has done and for him to benefit from our understanding the impact of the cuts on the private sector. We hope to get a response from him,” the source had said.

Last month the opposition made cuts to allocations for the National Communications Network (NCN) ($81.2 million cut), Government Information Agency (GINA) ($130.4), the Guyana Elections Commission ($527 million), Office of the President ($150 million, $345 million), and Office of the Prime Minister ($6 billion).

The opposition cut all but one dollar for an allocation of $18.39 billion covering a number of low carbon projects under the Ministry of Finance, namely, the Amaila Falls Project ($16.4 billion), Amerindian land titling ($202.1 million), Amerindian development fund ($205 million), small and micro enterprise ($512.5 million), climate adaptation project – Cunha Canal $410 million and institutional strengthening of agencies connected to the LCDS $615 million.

The opposition also cut a total of $224.4 million under the Ministry of Finance covering subsidies and contributions to local organisations. These were the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) with $20 million, the State Planning Secretariat with $105 million and Ethnic Relations Commission with $99.4 million. All of these allocations were reduced to $1 each.

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