The private sector today released the following statement:
“In our release of March 28, 2013, we stated that the structure of the 2013 budget has particular relevance at a time when the external economic climate is less than favourable and the necessary steps must be taken now to guard against a domestic downturn. Since that statement was made we have seen a further decline in commodity prices in particular gold and it is essential that all steps possible are taken now to expand and diversify the economy. Parliament as a whole must act in concert to promote the best interest and longer term interest of the National economy.
“The Private Sector Commission was alerted and is deeply concerned by the reports of plans by the political opposition to reduce the funding and in many cases to totally eliminate funding for important national development projects in the 2013 budget .
“We are particularly concerned over reports of plans to reduce allocations for the vital security reform strategy, the road to the Amaila Falls project and the competitiveness programme for which the Psc has spent much time and effort to ensure changes to the business environment and is in fact a functioning programme that has brought tremendous benefit to the Business environment in Guyana.
“We are extremely disappointed over the targeting of the airport development project to be totally eliminated from the budget . This airport project is vital to the safety of international air traffic into and out of our country as well as the continued modernization and expansion of the travel and tourism sector.
“The Commission is, however, heartened by the plans of the Government and the Parliamentary Opposition to continue to meet in advance of debate on the Budget Estimates. We are hopeful that the spirit of reasonableness of what is good for our country will guide these negotiations.“
We have noted a slow down in Private sector activities that can be possibly attributed to the constant hardened positions in parliament. We appeal to all parties to put Guyana first; if you are recommending a budget cut,we urge you to have an alternative plan.
“The private sector commission supports the continued improvements to the accountability and transparency systems and encourage the development of the institutions that must ensure same at all times….
“The Private Sector Commission calls upon all concerned to ensure that, in consideration of the Estimates, any alteration to the Budget is done in the national interest.”