Finance Minister slams opposition over Muri departure

Minister of Finance Dr Ashni Singh has blamed the opposition for the decision by Muri Brasil Ventures Inc (MBVI) to pull out from its mineral survey deal.

The deal between MBVI and the government was first reported in Stabroek News last month and prompted a series of questions from the newspaper, political parties and civil society groups.

In a statement yesterday, Singh said that the Saturday announcement by Muri Brasil pulling out of its exploratory venture “is the latest example of the harm being inflicted on Guyana’s developmental prospects by APNU and the AFC’s attack against investors in Guyana.”

The statement said that the pattern of “anti-development behaviour” by the Joint Opposition can be observed as they have repeatedly protested any project geared towards the development of Guyana.

He cited the Amaila Falls Hydro Project, the Cheddi Jagan International Airport, Timehri expansion project, the Specialty Hospital Project and the Marriott Hotel Project and said they are “all examples of the Opposition creating havoc with its one seat majority in the National Assembly, spreading misinformation and driving away investors.”

The statement added that the same attitude is seen at the policy level in the National Assembly. He said that the Anti- Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism (Amend-ment) Bill and the Public Pro-curement Commission Bill saw objections from the Opposition, “though neither party can identify any real issue of contention with the respective bills”. Both opposition groups in parliament have identified a series of issues with the process for the bills and their content.

Singh said that similar anti- development sentiments are reflected in the cutting of the 2012 and 2013 National Budgets. The Finance Minister said that it is vital to note that every investor that has been chased out of Guyana represents hundreds of job opportunities for Guy-anese that will not be realized.

“The public should not take such coordinated sinister acts lightly as they are indicative of how little commitment the AFC and APNU have to the progress and development of Guyana”, the statement said.

Days before Muri announced its departure, Minister of Public Works Robeson Benn announced that permission had been denied to MBVI for the construction of an airstrip in south east Guyana. This appeared to be a key factor in Muri’s decision. There was no mention of this decision in the Finance Minister’s statement.

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