Different problem, same effect

Declining fortunes

This is no time for naysayers to gloat about the declining fortunes of the gold industry and the conundrum of the rice industry. These two industries along with remittances have emerged, in recent times, as the heart and soul of the Guyana economy. Within the last three years, they were responsible for 46 per cent of the income that people were able to spend and for over 70 per cent of the foreign exchange that the country earned. Trouble in the gold and rice industries would spell trouble for the Guyana economy. Gold alone was responsible for 25 per cent of the income earned in the economy and 37 per cent of the export revenues and transfers received. Rice brought in eight per cent of the income and 12 per cent of the revenues and transfers while remittances made 17 per cent of the income and 25 per cent of the foreign exchange available. The importance of the three sources of foreign exchange is underscored also by their impact on the hard currencies available in the foreign exchange market. Together, they are responsible for about 75 per cent of the money coming into the foreign exchange market. All three important sources of revenue are now exhibiting signs of trouble and their demise would bring harder times to Guyanese than exist now. Of particular interest are the problems of gold and rice which originate from two different sources, but are likely to produce the same effect on the Guyana economy, a drastic slowdown in the rate of output.

 Turn of events

The turn of events for the worse for both gold and rice exposes a sad truth about the leadership of this country and the consequence of not having a national vision of inclusion for its development. An attitude of complacency has infected the management of Guyana and the belief persists that with autopilot technology the economy can reach its destination by cruising along an unchartered flight path. It is not hard to see how that could happen when one considers the series of events that converged in 2008 and shortly thereafter to help the government develop a posture of lethargy and condescension towards the …..To continue reading, login or subscribe now.

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