Aubrey Norton says: “This government (PPP) is dishonest and a liar”
Member of the Region 10 negotiating team, Aubrey Norton on Saturday accused government of lying about his team’s failure to submit Economic Proposals.
“This government is dishonest and a liar. It’s a manifestation of their dishonesty. They believe that they are entitled to lie,” Norton told Demerara Waves Online News (www.demwaves.com).
Contrary to Presidential Advisor on Government Gail Teixeira’s claim that up to Friday government had not received any Economic Proposals, Norton said his negotiating team dispatched its document on Thursday.
While government appeared to expect “Economic Proposals,” the group’s seven-page document focussed on “ideas for a development plan” for Region 10 in keeping with a decision.
The paper also said there was need for some “short term” projects and measures while work is done on a comprehensive development plan.
The Region 10 group recommended the establishment of an Economic Committee to review the economic situation in Region 10 and produce a development plan for the region.
According to the regional team of negotiators, previous plans should be reviewed to formulate a comprehensive plan for the Region where local officials say most residents are poor and unemployed.
“Since most of them will not have been implemented to date, it is not obvious that an entirely new plan needs to be written at this stage. There is an urgent need to prepare an inventory of these plans and proposals with a view to distilling them and seeing what, if anything additional, needs to be done in terms of coverage or updating,” states the Region 10 proposal.
Interim measures, according to the document, should include the provision of land and incentives for the establishment of an agricultural development project aimed at ensuring food self sufficiency in Region 10; the drainage and irrigation of West Watooka with the aim of ensuring farmers could produce agricultural produce in the area and taking the required action to bring into operation the UNAMCO sawmill in Kwakwani.
The Region 10 delegation also wants government to encourage an investor to establish a veneer plant in Coomacka using the existing UNAMCO plant. Government, according to the regional representatives, should finance the construction of an all weather road between Linden and Kwakwani with the aim of opening all the lands for agriculture and other activities along the road and provide incentives for the transformation of the waterfront in Linden into a tourist attraction with entertainment centres. The distribution of lands to the people of Region 10 for agriculture, forestry, animal rearing etc., especially the people of Ituni and the investigation of the use of dug out areas for the establishment of aqua culture is another suggestion.
The Region 10 representatives also recommended the setting up of a mechanism where the Region is involved in decision making as it relates to investments in Region 10; the development of an incentive package aimed at encouraging and promoting investment in Region 10 and the establishment of a Regional Development Authority to implement the Regional Development Plan. The Authority, according to the Regional representatives, must fall under the jurisdiction of the region and has representatives of the relevant central government agencies.
Other ideas floated in the Region 10 document include a review of previous entrepreneurial development initiatives like LEAP and LEN, examination of the cheapest and effective means of electricity generation, increasing food self-sufficiency and studying the prospects for alumina, mineral and forestry resources.
Funders could, according to the opposition negotiators, could include the Guyana government, donors and the private sector including the Diaspora.
Talks between Region 10 representatives and government stemmed from the boiling over of tensions on July 18 over Lindeners’ rejection of an electricity tariff increase from July 1.
The two sides have already agreed to hold a Commission of Inquiry into those disturbances that left three people dead and several others wounded during clashes between police and protesters.
Between July 18 and August 10, four government properties housing several state entities have been burnt down in Linden.
The security forces late Friday into Saturday were able to restore some sense of normalcy in Mackenzie but their biggest challenge remains Wismar which remains heavily fortified by residents who have put up huge barriers to block entry and exit to their community and interior locations like those in Regions 7,8 and 9.