PPP/C Launches Manifesto
The People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) this evening launched its 2011 Manifesto under theme, “Working Together for a Better Tomorrow”, at the Princess Hotel, Providence.
This document, described as “realistic” and “workable”, not only chronicles the progress that has been achieved thus far, but outlines the party’s plans to propel growth and development for the next five years.
Addressing the gathering, President Bharrat Jagdeo said that the PPP/C, working in partnership with many other forces, including the private sector, labour movement, non-governmental organisations and even elements of the progressive Opposition, remains confident about the bright prospects of the future.
He said that the Party’s Presidential Candidate, Donald Ramotar possesses all the necessary attributes and skills that are required to lead that process for the next five years.
The Guyanese Head of State posited that Ramotar is a candidate, “who has been tested, can be trusted, who is not fickle, has been part of everything progressive in this country for a very long time…we have no fear that this candidate will be steady as the country moves forward.”
The President said that today’s world is characterised by a significant deal of economic turmoil with the traditional growth centers of the world are in deep crisis. He explained that the tools that these affected countries are using to get out of recession, create a series of additional problems such as inflationary trends that will lead to increased interest rates.
He said that as such, Guyana, being an exporting country, would need steady hands to chart it forward amidst this uncertain, unstable economic climate.
“Donald Ramotar has the skills…he is one of the key generators of ideas, and he is very receptive to new ideas, two skills that are very much absent in his competitors,” President Jagdeo said.
He also highlighted that the APNU has now launched its list of people who will be contesting in the upcoming elections, many of whom are the architects of the economic ruins that this country has witnessed. He said that that this party has nothing new to offer and cannot run against a track record, because of the state that they left Guyana in.
The President said that only a few years ago, the country finished repaying US $300M that was spent on a hydropower system under the then PNC Government, that never materialised. Today Guyana’s fiscal deficit, as well as its balance of payment, has been reduced to single digits; while only four percent is being used to service debt as opposed to 94 percent.
“Where we were in the past, most of the Caribbean are getting there…we have the fastest growing economy in the region; we have defied the logic of the crisis and moved our country forward and so today we have a record to show,” the President stated.
With regards to the AFC, he said that one cannot toy with the future of a country. He pinpointed that neither Raphael Trotman nor Khemraj Ramjattan has ever outlined a well-defined economic plan. He noted too that the Party’s two economic spokespersons have very little credibility with regards to matters of this magnitude.
He said that said that the AFC’s manifesto, is a mere plagiarism of parts of several PPP/C policies and programmes such as the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS), Poverty Reduction Strategy and the National Competitiveness Strategy (NDS) among others.
“The framework that we are offering for the future, is one that allows people to be rewarded for efforts and initiatives, where people can become wealthy through honest work and at the same time we offer a taxation system that doesn’t act as a disincentive to them but gives us enough resources to address concerns of poor people,” the President said.
Ramotar in his remarks said that this manifesto is aimed at building on the many achievements thus far, over the next five years.
In terms of continuity, he said that, “we want to create the right macro-economic atmosphere to allow our country to produce…to this end we will ensure that our debt is sustainable by trying to reduce our fiscal deficit.”
He added that there will be a lot of emphasis on the establishment of new infrastructure so that the country can begin to attain the heights that it is capable of.
Ramotar said that much focus will be in the creation of cheap energy and made reference to the Amaila Falls Hydropower Project as well as disclosed plans to explore the area of cogeneration on a larger scale as well as wind power.
He said that Information Communication Technology will continue to be used as a tool to increase greater efficiency, production and a total modernisation of society.
The Presidential Candidate said that plans are also on stream to enhance the country’s sea and air ports in an effort to increase imports and exports. To this end, a new deep water harbour will be built as well as a more modern airport, a process that has already begun at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport.
“It is important for us to turn our country into a hub for South America and the Caribbean and for us to use air transport to get some of our produce, particularly perishables, to markets and in so doing, stimulate production in agriculture, aquaculture and other areas,” he said.
He added that Government will continue to invest heavily in the social sectors to improve the living standards of citizens.
“We will respect, uphold and try to expand human rights and all the freedoms that are enshrined in the charter of the United Nations…this is going to help us to promote in our society, the tolerance that we already have for each other,” Ramotar said.
He added too that security, justice and Amerindian development will also be high on the agenda for the PPP/C over the next five years and said that, “everything we do is all geared at developing our country’s capacity and if we discriminate, it is only to help the weak and vulnerable.”
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Samuel Hinds, who is also the Prime Ministerial Candidate, called on all citizens to work with the systems that already exist in Guyana to make things better. He added that the PPP/C is going to the polls on the basis of the principles that were set by the Party’s founder, Cheddi Jagan and a performance that cannot be disputed.