Setting the record straight: What the APNU/AFC really inherited from the PPP/C in 2015

first_imgDear Editor,During the TV programme Square Talk, televised on Monday, August 26, 2019, an obviously irate caller, annoyed with the host, Kwame Mc Coy, for saying that the Granger Administration had done nothing constructive for Guyana since taking office, asked “What did the APNU inherit from the PPP?” This loaded question was meant to justify the non-performance of the Granger Administration by insinuating there wasn’t much they could have done with a “bankrupt” economy.Sadly, this caller was one of the many mindless PNC/APNU apologists who are unwilling to think for themselves, and prefer to repeat the mantra started by the caretaker President himself when he announced in the National Assembly that his Government inherited a “depressed economy” from the PPP/C in 2015. As we approach another national and regional election, it is, therefore, necessary to once again set the record straight by reminding everyone what the Guyana economy was like when the PPP/C demitted office, and why the PPP/C is the best choice, the most experienced, the most knowledgable with the best leadership to rebuild this economy when this caretaker President and his minions are through depleting the treasury.In 1992, the Guyana economy was bankrupted. The then Finance Minister, Carl Greenidge, can testify to this. The country’s infrastructure was in a state of disrepair. Schools and hospital buildings were dilapidated and unfunded. Basic food items and pharmaceuticals were in short supply. And foreign currency was unavailable for the importation of vehicles, equipment, spare parts or anything else. 153 per cent of the country’s revenue was used to service foreign debt. In May 2015, this was reduced to just 5 per cent. The road to economic recovery came with a heavy price tag and lots of sacrifices. Over its 23 years in Government, the PPP/C paid off US$3 billion in external debts that the PNC had accumulated during its 28 years in Government. It took prudent management of our resources by successive PPP/C Administrations to rebuild Guyana to the robust economy David Granger inherited in 2015, and it was done without waiting for oil revenue.From 2006 to 2014, the Guyana economy was the fastest growing in the region with a continuous positive growth rate of 4.5 per cent per annum. This was also the longest period of uninterrupted economic growth in the history of independent Guyana. By contrast, due mainly to poor management and excessive spending, this growth rate declined to 3.1 per cent in 2015; 3.4 per cent in 2016; 2.1 per cent in 2017 and 3.4 per cent in 2018. (https://countryeconomy.com/gdp/guyana). In 2014, the last full year of the PPP/C in office, Guyana’s total international reserves were US$668 million. By March of last year, that amount fell to US$518.5 million. At the end of 2014, gold reserves in the Bank of Guyana totalled $25 billion. In June 2018 this amount was reduced to $3.1 billion, and today, this has further dwindled to a disturbingly low $589 million.In 2014, the last year that the PPP produced a budget, the total tax take by the GRA was $135 billion. Since 2015, the Granger Administration has introduced over 200 new tax measures on the backs of ordinary Guyanese, raking in $223 billion in taxes, that’s $88 billion more in tax revenue on an annual basis. At the end of 2014, the total assets held at commercial banks were $421.8 billion. Commercial banks were therefore in a position to provide substantial credit to the Private Sector. Interest rates in 1992 were 35 per cent. By the end of 2014, Interest rates had reduced to 10.8 per cent, much more favourable to those borrowing. At the same time, our exchange rate was very stable. It was $206 to US$1.00 in 2014, compared to $216 to US$1 today. In addition, the APNU/AFC coalition borrowed over US$900 million, US$600 million of which was funded by the local banking system, adding to the national debt and making it difficult for ordinary citizens and the Private Sector to borrow money from commercial banks.These figures, however, do not tell the whole story. The strides by the PPP/C were made in a very hostile environment by the then political Opposition, the APNU/AFC. One must recall the riots and destruction by fire after the 1992, 1997 and 2001 elections when businesses suffered millions of dollars in damage. These were clear attempts to destabilise our country.And we must not forget that the last three years of the PPP/C Government were even more difficult. The APNU and the AFC displayed their total anti-developmental and anti-national side. They used their combined one-seat majority to block every developmental project including the Amaila Falls Hydro Electricity Project and the Specialty Hospital Project. They voted against paying Government workers, voted to cut the capital budget of the Ministry of Works and the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs. They voted against money to help the sugar industry to restructure and mechanise more of its operations in the field and factory, just to name a few. The achievements were made in very unfavourable international circumstances as well. One may recall the destructive financial and economic crisis that gripped the world at the beginning of 2008 and lasted until 2012. That crisis affected our entire region, including our major trading partners. But impressive as the PPP/C Government was in the economic sphere, it was not all they managed to achieve. The PPP/C had secured US$250 million under the Guyana/Norway partnership on climate financing. Of this, US$190 million was already earned and only US$40 million disbursed to projects at the end of 2014. The APNU regime, therefore, had a lot of money to spend. More than US$500 million of resources were already secured to finance developmental projects. These included US$30 million for China Exim Bank to construct a new airport; US$66.2 million from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to fund a road network upgrade and expansion project; US$64.6 million from the IDB and EU to fund a power utility upgrade programme; US$50 million from the India Exim Bank to fund the East Coast to East Bank bypass road; US$34.4 million from the Caribbean Development Bank to fund the West Coast Demerara highway upgrade project; US$31.7 million from the IDB and EU to fund a water and sanitation infrastructure improvement project; US$15 million from IDB for a new Citizens Security project; US$12 million from the World Bank for a Flood Risk Management project; US$10 million from the World Bank for a new Secondary Education Improvement project; US$10 million from the World Bank for the University of Guyana’s Science and Technology Support project; US$7.5 million from the Caribbean Development Bank to fund a sugar industry mechanisation project; and a firm commitment from the Indian Government to help in the re-capitalisation of the sugar industry.The above projects and figures were sourced from several credible online financial institutions including the Bank of Guyana and the World Bank. Former President Donald Ramotar also contributed and alluded to most of these facts in a letter, “Under the PPP/C, Guyana had the fastest growing economy in the region”.Apart from the dynamic investments above, the PPP/Civic Government had secured not just growing local private investments, but some important foreign direct investments into our economy, many of which are now contributing in driving our economy. The following are some of these investments that came into commercial operation at the end of the PPP/C Administration, or shortly thereafter: Major oil and gas exploration activities, these included Exxon/Esso, Repsol and CGX; three major gold mines were ready to commence commercial operations, namely, Guyana Gold Fields Ltd/AGM, ETK/Sandsprings and Troy Resources. Mining of other minerals including Reunion Manganese and First Bauxite; a large scale agricultural project in the Rupununi – Santa Fe farms; two large information and communications technology investments – Qualfon and Teleperformance. The performance of the PPP/C Government, therefore, generated great confidence in both local and foreign investors. The above is a snapshot of the robust economy that the PPP/Civic left. Our economy was clearly strong and growing fast despite the Opposition and any challenges it encountered.The APNU regime took over at a time when Guyana was leading the rest of the region. This regime had a very sound foundation on which to build upon. They screwed up big time.Sincerely,Harry GillPPP/C Member of Parliamentlast_img read more

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Coutinho scorcher gets Liverpool back on track

first_img0Shares0000Liverpool midfielder Philippe Coutinho (L) celebrates after scoring his second goal from a freekick during the English Premier League football match against Leicester City at King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England on September 23, 2017LEICESTER, United Kingdom, Sep 23 – Philippe Coutinho marked his first Premier League start of the season with a superb goal as Liverpool returned to winning ways by edging Leicester City 3-2 on Saturday.Coutinho submitted a transfer request on the eve of the season, only for Liverpool to block his move to Barcelona, and he began the atonement process with a glorious 23rd-minute free-kick. Further goals from Mohamed Salah and skipper Jordan Henderson helped Jurgen Klopp’s side register a first win in five attempts and avenge their mid-week loss to Leicester in the League Cup.But victory so nearly eluded them at the King Power Stadium. Shinji Okazaki and Jamie Vardy replied for Leicester and the latter then saw a 73rd-minute penalty parried by Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet.Liverpool climb to fifth place, five points below leaders Manchester City, while Leicester sit 16th, above the relegation zone on goal difference alone.Predictably, Klopp made seven changes to the side that went out of the League Cup earlier in the week, but Coutinho retained his place.Okazaki had shone in Leicester’s 2-0 win on Tuesday and was rewarded with a place in Craig Shakespeare’s starting line-up.The visitors applied the early pressure, Emre Can forcing Kasper Schmeichel into a save from a narrow angle in the first minute.It was a sign of things to come as both sides enjoyed chances in a frantic opening period.Okazaki set Vardy away down the left flank and although Mignolet could only palm his shot across goal, Riyad Mahrez scooped the rebound over the bar.Liverpool should have taken the lead after Can rattled the base of Schmeichel’s post with a 20-yard shot, but with the Danish goalkeeper lying helpless on the ground, Salah contrived to shoot wide.The Egyptian made amends in the 15th minute as he got on the end of Coutinho’s cross and powered a far-post header past Schmeichel to open the scoring.The home side came close to a reply three minutes later as Vardy chased down an attempted Mignolet clearance and the Belgian goalkeeper did well to divert Okazaki’s shot wide.– Okazaki stabs in –Instead the visitors went further ahead from Coutinho’s free-kick, the Brazilian curling his effort brilliantly over the wall and past the despairing dive of Schmeichel in the 23rd minute.The half ended as it had started with a flurry of chances at both ends.Leicester looked like they had pulled a goal back shortly before half-time as Okazaki squeezed the ball past Mignolet, only to see it ruled out by an errant offside flag.Liverpool were inches away from extending their lead still further when Coutinho came agonisingly close to getting a decisive touch on Roberto Firmino’s driven cross.Amid the half’s dying embers, Mignolet produced a fantastic one-handed save to push Vardy’s header over the bar.But the Liverpool goalkeeper’s inability to claim to ensuing corner, amid suspicions of a foul by Okazaki, allowed the Japanese striker to stab home and give the Foxes a lifeline.Liverpool came close to restoring their two-goal cushion soon after the restart as a dangerous attack ended with Coutinho driving a shot into the grateful arms of Schmeichel.The visitors continued to press, Firmino ballooning a header over from close range.Liverpool finally got a third from a devastating counter-attack that saw substitute Daniel Sturridge feed Henderson, who cut inside before wrong-footing Schmeichel.The two-goal advantage only lasted one minute as Mignolet parried Demarai Gray’s shot into the path of Vardy, who headed home from beneath the crossbar.Leicester could have drawn level after Vardy raced into the box and was clattered by Mignolet, who also managed to graze the ball.Referee Anthony Taylor pointed to the spot, but decided the challenge only warranted a yellow card.Mignolet made the most of his reprieve by guessing correctly to deny Vardy from 12 yards and stop the Leicester striker scoring a third penalty in successive matches. 0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

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BRICS ‘bullish on private equity activity’

first_img4 January 2012The turbulence of the global economy notwithstanding, 72% of private equity professionals in the BRICS countries believe investment activity in the private equity sector will rise in 2012, according to a survey by consultancy Grant Thornton.The report, based on interviews with private equity professionals across the world, was released in November.The BRICS countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – were the most optimistic, with 72% of those surveyed believing investment activity would increase over the coming year, compared to a 61% overall optimism figure.Not surprisingly given the eurozone credit crisis, respondents in Western Europe were the least optimistic, at 50%.Within the BRICS group, Brazil was the most optimistic, while expectations in South Africa were slightly more subdued.David Paropoulos, corporate finance director at Grant Thornton Johannesburg, attributed this sentiment to the more established nature of South Africa’s buyout market, but added that “notable activity” was still expected in the country in 2012.Paropoulos added that South Africa was seen by many private equity investors as a gateway into the rest of Africa and, as such, strong private companies were being sought with a strategic African expansion plan in mind.“We expect a sizeable level of activity in the [South African] equity market in the next few years,” he said.Regarding challenges for private equity, the survey found that BRICS countries viewed regulatory matters as the biggest hurdle facing the market.The report also revealed a tough environment for fundraising. Globally, there is more negativity than positivity about the outlook (46% versus 28%), with 13% feeling very negative.“This negativity is particularly acute in developed markets, including Western Europe (47% negative versus 20% positive) and North America (48% negative versus 26% positive),” Grant Thornton said.SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

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Proteas apply anti-choke at World T20

first_imgSouth Africa 170 for 6 (JP Duminy 86*, Hashim Amla 41, Corey Anderson 2 for 28, Tim Southee 2 for 46)New Zealand 168 for 8 (Ross Taylor 62, Kane Williamson 51, Dale Steyn 4 for 17, Imran Tahir 2 for 27) 24 March 2014 South Africa claimed a remarkable two-run victory over New Zealand at the World Twenty20 in Chittagong, Bangladesh on Monday. Bowler Dale Steyn led the way with a four-wicket haul and a final over which included three dismissals and only four runs. Chasing 171 for victory, New Zealand entered the last over of the contest on 164 for 5, with Ross Taylor well set on 62 off only 36 balls, while Luke Ronchi had five runs to his name off only two balls. Steyn, up to that point, had captured 2 for 13 in three overs, but it would take something special to see the Proteas to victory. Steyn delivered.Final over With his first ball, he had Ronchi caught behind by a diving Quinton de Kock, as the Kiwi wicketkeeper thick edged a full ball behind the wicket. Nathan McCullum, showing his nerves, tried to go for a big hit off Steyn off the first ball he faced, but failed to make contact. Steyn cranked up the pace all the way to 148 km/h with his next delivery, pitching the ball short of a length outside off and McCullum missed it as he tried to work it to the leg side. With only three balls remaining McCullum hit Steyn over extra cover for four, lifting the Black Caps to 168 and leaving them needing only three runs off of the remaining two balls. With the second last delivery of the game, Steyn bowled a short and wide ball to the batsman, who connected with the bottom of his bat. The ball looped to extra cover and South African captain Faf du Plessis made the catch to end McCullum’s short stay. The batsmen had, however, crossed and that brought the dangerous and in-form Taylor onto strike. A boundary would be enough to win the game. With the pressure amped up to 11, Steyn produced a full delivery, wide of off and all Taylor could do was push it back towards the bowler, who calmly completed the run out before streaking off in celebration. He was chased down and surrounded by his ecstatic team-mates as the Proteas revelled in an astonishing victory.‘Steyn is my trump card’ In his post-match interview, captain Faf du Plessis said: “I was thinking all the time that Steyn is my trump card. I need to bring him back in the game. Fantastic effort from him.” He also praised JP Duminy for a superb innings of 86 not out from only 43 balls, which included 10 fours and three sixes. It was the best T20 innings he had yet seen from Duminy, Du Plessis reckoned.Credit to SA Black Caps’ captain Brendon McCullum was generous in his praise of South Africa after suffering a tough defeat. “Credit to SA for the way they hung in there,” he said. “We probably should have won it easily, [but you] can’t take it to the final over against a top bowler like Steyn. Little bit of luck and we’d have got across the line.” The Proteas next face The Netherlands in another Group 1 game on Thursday, followed by England on Saturday.SCORE SUMMARYlast_img read more

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San Miguel still consensus team to beat for PBA Season 44

first_imgSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion LATEST STORIES PBA governors ahead of the league’s 44th season. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netAnd despite already being the favorites, San Miguel still managed to bolster its roster in the offseason with the return of veteran swingman Ronald Tubid and the addition of guards Terrence Romeo and Paul Zamar.The Beermen have high hopes that the beleaguered Romeo, who is still one of the best guards in the league, will get his act together after a brief and troubled stint at TNT where he only lasted to two conferences.READ: Leo Austria optimistic Terrence Romeo gamble will pay off“I think everyone agrees that San Miguel is the strongest team and they’ve just gotten stronger this year with the addition of Terrence and a few other players,” NLEX governor Rod Franco said.The 44th Season of the PBA unwraps on Sunday at Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.ADVERTISEMENT Lakers legend Michael Cooper drops by Manny Pacquiao’s home Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte To no one’s surprise, San Miguel Beer was the consensus choice by team governors as the frontrunner to win the 2019 PBA Philippine Cup.ADVERTISEMENT Last season, the fancied Beermen celebrated a historic fourth consecutive championship in the all-Filipino tournament in dominating fashion after beating the Magnolia Hotshots in five games.With its star-studded core led by four-time MVP June Mar Fajardo back, San Miguel is tipped to keep its Philippine Cup dynasty intact and the rest of the league is fully aware of it.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsREAD: Jimmy Alapag joins San Miguel coaching staff “I would still put my money on San Miguel Beer. They really have a strong lineup,” said Magnolia governor Rene Pardo during the league’s preseason press conference at Conrad Hotel. San Miguel will only get better PLAY LIST 01:33San Miguel will only get better01:33Leo Austria, SMB wary of ‘more experienced’ Hotshots ahead of PBA Finals rematch01:28’Walang bigayan’: Expect all-out war between sister teams Magnolia, San Miguel02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krausscenter_img MOST READ Barangay Ginebra, which was also mentioned as one of the favorites along with Magnolia, and new-look TNT will clash in the opener which tips off at 6:30 p.m. after the Leo Awards.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Hotel management clarifies SEAG footballers’ kikiam breakfast issue Is Luis Manzano planning to propose to Jessy Mendiola? View comments LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. TS Kammuri to enter PAR possibly a day after SEA Games openinglast_img read more

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