The hypocrisy of the PPP/C regime has again been exposed. President Donald Ramotar and his Finance Minister Dr Ashni Singh would have the nation believe that they thought of the entire nation when the Budget was prepared. The capital allocations to the ten regions tell a different story. They paint a picture of discrimination and political favouritism.
The administration has been true to form with its discriminatory tactics. It has shown favour to the regions it controls and has punished those it does not. This policy has continued unabated. The figures below show quite clearly that the highest allocations are to the regions controlled by the PPP. Like the Bourbon kings, the PPP has learnt nothing and has forgotten everything.
(Population figures from Statistical Bureau)
The most populous region in Guyana is Region 4 which APNU won in the 2011 elections. This has 310,320 inhabitants but has been allocated $194.5 million. In contrast, the regions won by the PPP, namely, for example, Regions 2,3,5 and 6 with a combined population of 328,437 people have been allocated $345.9 million, $280.5, $267.1 million and $361.7 million, respectively.
This means that these four PPP controlled regions were allocated a total of $1,255,250 billion or $3.821 million per person compared to Region Four where it is $626,772 per person. APNU controlled Regions 7 and 10, to rub salt in the wound, have been allocated the derisory sums of $126 and $221.8 million, respectively. Region 8 which is controlled by the AFC and APNU has been allocated $142.263 million.
This is not the end of the matter. Under the Jagdeo administration the PNCR had to protest the discrimination in the allocation of financial resources and their inadequate nature. APNU is now confronted with the same situation and will have to protest in a robust manner.
But the PPP’s shady tactics do not end here. It seeks to appear as a godsend in APNU controlled regions by descending on them and doing capital works in a way that makes it appear as if the PPP government has to come to the rescue of the people of the region. The aim is to undermine the political leadership in the region hoping thereby to portray APNU as being unable to take care of its own supporters. Through the use of this Machiavellian policy, the PPP hopes that it will get support for its government. This approach is a clear manifestation of bad governance, the hallmark of successive PPP administrations.
After every Budget, it becomes more evident that we cannot continue with this discriminatory system of allocation of resources. There is need for objective criteria in determining the allocation of resources for the regions and an end to the policy of discrimination. In the case of Linden in Region 10 the negative impact will be much more severe because jobs are not being created and the government has made poor decisions as these relate to electricity generation.
In fact, the Ramotar administration is now seeking to impose an exorbitant and unconscionable increase in the cost of electricity on the people of Linden. Put simply, the government is depriving the people of Linden of an earning capacity and then exacerbates the situation by increasing the economic burden on the people.
Aubrey C Norton