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Buoyant gold, bauxite production to spur economy in 2012 - ECLAC
The United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean ( ECLAC) has projected a growth rate of four per cent for Guyana next year, saying this will be driven mainly by buoyant commodity prices and increased production of gold, bauxite and alumina, along with agricultural crops such as rice and sugar.
ECLAC said too that the ruling party’s reduced majority in Parliament could affect the growth in credit to the private sector, saying that the situation will create uncertainty as to whether the government will be able to maintain all aspects of its policy agenda. These observations are contained in ECLAC’s Preliminary Overview of the Economies of Latin America and the Caribbean 2011. However, in the report, ECLAC said the Guyanese economy continued to post robust growth in 2011, despite the continuing difficulties in the major export markets of the United States and Europe.
The estimate for 2011 is for overall growth of 4.8 per cent, while the forecast for 2012 is for an expansion of four per cent. According to ECLAC, policymakers in Guyana are expected to pursue the Low Carbon Development Strategy ( LCDS) in light of the victory of the ruling party at the polls in November, despite a much- reduced majority in Parliament. Under the agreement with the government of Norway for the joint implementation of this strategy, Guyana will receive some US$ 30 mil lion in financing in 2012 and up to US$ 100 million annually through 2020.
In 2011, ECLAC said the fiscal deficit will widen due to higher capital outlays.
The budget deficit is an ticipated to be 3.5 per cent of Gross Domestic Product ( GDP) in 2011, but may be as high as six per cent in 2012, due especially to the investment in the Amaila Falls hydroelectric project.
In the first half of 2011, some US$ 32.2 million in debt relief was received through the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative; the International Monetary Fund ( IMF); the International Development Association; and the Inter- American Development Bank ( IDB). Debt servicing will be higher in 2012, and the debt- to- GDP ratio will also increase due to borrowing for investment purposes The monetary policy pursued by the Bank of Guyana in 2011 continued to focus on stabilising prices and ensuring suffi - cient liquidity in the bank ing system. In the first half of 2011, credit to the private sector continued to expand but at a slower rate relative to the corresponding period in 2010. Central government credit declined while private- sector credit grew by 6.7 per cent. In 2012, there will be moderate growth in credit to the private sector in view of the uncertainty as to whether the ruling party, with a reduced parliamentary majority, will be able to maintain all aspects of its policy agenda. The exchange rate was relatively stable in the first half of 2011 with a marginal devaluation of 0.25 Guyana dollars ( G$) to reach G$ 203.5 to the U. S. dollar. The foreign exchange market is expected to remain stable in 2012 since inflows of foreign exchange should be adequate.
In the first half of 2011, the economy posted growth of 5.9 per cent. In the second half, growth was less robust and the overall fig ure for 2011 will be around 4.8 per cent. Inflation for 2011 will approach the target rate of 4.8 per cent. For the first half of the year, it stood at 2.97 per cent, but should abate in the second half as food price inflation subsides. Employment in the public sector recorded a marginal decline of 0.89 per cent, which reflected a 1.67 per cent downturn in central government accounts.
Meanwhile, preliminary estimates for 2011 suggest an increase in private sector employment, especially in the areas of construction, and wholesale and retail trade. Employment is likely to pick up in 2012 with the start- up of a number of public sector capital projects.
In the first half of the year, the current account balance deteriorated by US$ 19.6 million. For 2011, the current account deficit will increase, reflecting ris ing prices for imports such as oil and commodities. As a result, reserves will decrease by US$ 36.1 million to 18 per cent of GDP. In 2012, with the construction of the large hydroelectricity project at Amaila Falls, the current account may widen significantly due to higher imports. This project, however, is likely to bring significant long- term energy savings and spur growth
Break-in of ballot boxes storage a clear design to prevent a recount
Break-in of ballot boxes storage a clear design to prevent a recount
The People’s Progressive Party/Civic is flabbergasted by the on-going efforts by certain forces to interfere with the integrity of the 2011 elections material and vital evidence should there be either a recount or even a forensic audit which the party is advocating.
The shocking discovery today that three containers, located at Coldingen, ECD which were holding ballot boxes were breached is most disturbing. The PPP/C has always maintained that it remains unopposed to a total or partial recount of the ballots given our firm view that there was orchestrated misconduct at several polling station and divisions.
It must be noted that the PPP/C was prevailed upon to withdraw its request for partial recount as the opposition had claimed that would delay the announcement of the preliminary results. This request was made by the PPP/C in light of certain facts and activities that took place and affected votes which were cast for the PPP/C .
We view this break-in of the ballot boxes as a planned effort by certain political forces to prevent a recount given the suspicions and evidence of collusion to cheat the PPP/C of a clear parliamentary majority. We have also noticed an unprecedented feature i.e. the use of military-type planning and
operations by these elements who seemed bent on frustrating and even undermining the democratic process in Guyana.
The PPP/C expects that the GECOM leadership and the law enforcement authorities will move resolutely, in apprehending the perpetrators and get.
Further the leadership of the PPP will deliberate on this and other unnerving evidence that pointed to a clear conspiracy to cheat the PPP/C out of government. We intend to consider all options on going forward.
December 11, 2011
PPP/C condemns APNU/AFC for engaging in inciting rhetoric
PPP/C condemns APNU/AFC for engaging in inciting rhetoric
The People’s Progressive Party/Civic is deeply concerned over recent pronouncements made on some television stations by leading officials of A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) including its Prime Ministerial Candidate, Mr. Rupert Roopnarine; candidates, Lance Carberry and David Hinds. Also, recent statements issued by the AFC have been helpful to the maintenance of an environment of understanding and tolerance.
The PPP/C views these comments as dangerously inciting which is contrary to the need for calm and patience as Guyanese await the announcement of the results of the recently concluding 2011 General and Regional elections.
While the PPP/C do not wish to rehash the mischievous utterances of those mentioned, the Party feels compel to underscore the fact that one of the officials mentioned, was vehement in his pronouncement that APNU would not stand in the way of its supporters who want to defend their votes. The PPP/C believes that this irresponsible statement is a call for unrest which has its genesis in the false impression created by APNU that it has won the elections despite the fact that official results are still to be released.
The consequence of such purposeful reckless assertions is the creation of a false sense of expectation and hope among APNU supporters. When the final results are announced, it would not be unprecedented for the sense of euphoria which has been deliberately engineered by APNU for its supporters, to dissipate. This has the potential for the escalation of an already tense situation which could lead to undesirable consequences. In this regard, the PPP/C calls on all APNU supporters to not allow themselves to be manipulated by those in the leadership of their Party.
Further the PPP/C urges agents of political parties from falsely propagating, as it is currently engaged in on Facebook, other social networks and affiliated websites, the misinformation and even spreading fear.
The PPP/C believes that the reckless statements alluded to can only be interpreted as a calculated attempt by APNU to encourage its supporters to engage in undesirable activities following the official announcement of the final results by GECOM.
Notwithstanding several isolated cases of process hiccups, the International Observers have lauded Guyana and Guyanese for participating in democratic elections and have declared that it was conducted in a free, fair and transparent manner.
The PPP/C takes this opportunity to reiterate its call for peace and urges all to continue to exercise patience at this time as we urge GECOM to release its preliminary results early.
November 30, 2011
Guyana’s image by 2015 – universal access to tertiary education one facet -at public meetings in West Coast Demerara
President Bharrat Jagdeo spent a significant amount of his time describing what Guyana would look like by the year 2015 under the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) regime this evening as he met with residents at Cornelia Ida and Meten-meer-Zorg on the West Coast of Demerara, a mere five days before the hosting of the 2011 national and regional elections.
The Head of State was joined by Minister of Housing and Water Irfaan Ali and other party colleagues in speaking to residents at the two meetings that attracted a significant number of people.
He reiterated to the Region Three residents that under the One Laptop Per Family (OLPF) programme, being implemented at present, 90,000 families will get a free computer from the Government and the objective of making Guyana the most computer literate will be realized.
“Our aim is that within three years, Guyana will be tche most omputer literate country in the world…every single person will have access to the internet… in the United States of America, 50 million people don’t have a computer and don’t know how to use it. We can jump past the US.”
The year 2015 will also see universal access to tertiary education and, President Jagdeo said this can be done at an extent where degrees in Guyana and overseas can be pursued from the comfort of a student’s home.
“We would have world class education where our children will be prepared to tackle the world, not only through the learning channel but through interactive modes using the computer in their own homes… a lecturer can sit in Georgetown and teach mathematics to children right across Guyana in their own homes and the children would be able to post questions and get replies,” President Jagdeo said.
With the launch of an online degree programme, he said residents from as far as Paramakatoi in Region Eight and Linden in Region Ten, who, under normal circumstances would find it costly to travel to the city, will benefit the most.
We are putting an e-library online so that people can stay in their homes and access books without travelling,” President Jagdeo said.
The rapid emergence of Information Communication Technology (ICT) will result in the entire government apparatus functioning online by 2015, according to President Jagdeo, making applications for important documents such as birth certificates and passports conducted without the hassle of long lines.
With government investing US$5M in the laying of a fibre optic cable from Brazil to make internet access cheaper and more reliable, President Jagdeo said the delivery of services such as healthcare and education and security will be significantly boosted.
In a country with six ethnicities, President Jagdeo said every group will reap the benefits of this future.
Mining, he said, will be doubling the revenue base of the entire country and with the opening up of the intermediate and Rupununi savannahs, rice will move from 400,000 tonnes to over one million tonnes.
National School of Music adds to Guyana’s growing cultural assets -President Jagdeo, at commissioning ceremony
Guyana’s long elusive quest for a national institution where music can be taught to children of this country came to a reality today when President Bharrat Jagdeo officially unveiled the plaque to commission a spanking new facility at Brickdam and College road, Georgetown for the National School of Music. The President said that he is extremely pleased with efforts made by Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport to accomplish the feat.
President Bharrat Jagdeo officially unveils the plaque to commission the National School of Music.
This institution, the President said will not only add to the stock of growing cultural assets that Guyana possesses but, will aid in the resurgence of music in this country.
“We think through this school and its outreach programmes we can involve people who never had a chance to study music formally and to be trained to be part of this cultural resonance that we are having in Guyana,” President Jagdeo said.
Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport Dr. Frank Anthony who also addressed the gathering, comprising music teachers, students and members of the music fraternity said that, “it is an historic day for Guyana and its people”.
President Bharrat Jagdeo, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport Dr. Frank Anthony and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Culture Alfred King touring the National School of Music
This elusive dream of such a facility, he said became a reality as a result of several partners who never faltered in such a project, including that Guyana Music Teachers’ Association and the Ministry of Health through the Health Sector Development Unit.
“The Ministry of Health allowed us to access funds for this magnificent building…if we did not have their support then this would have never been possible here today,” Minister Anthony said.
The facility, Dr. Anthony said will serve as Guyana’s premier institution for music education in Guyana.
The National School of Music, Brickdam and College road, Georgetown
Music education is not new to Guyana, in fact history has shown Guyana’s integral role and, “while we will continue to encourage all efforts to enhance the wide spread of music education in Guyana, we believe that this time has come for a dedicated music school,” Minister Anthony said.
The school, he added will be a catalyst to propel the next wave of music development in Guyana, and having recognized this, Government will be investing in the development of its human resources to meet the capacity of delivering the right practical and theoretical training for prospective students.
Dr Anthony said that Guyana’s musical folk heritage is rich and quite unique and thus “we need to research it and document it so it can be transferred from one generation to the next”.
Against this background, he said that the school will serve in that capacity, to help convey that musical folk heritage; since the country’s musical history remains untaught and practically undocumented.
This, he said will be changing “as we await the release of Dr.Vibert Cambridge’s book on music in Guyana”.
“Guyana musical history will be taught in the school curriculum…we must tell this generation of Guyanese about those inspirational figures that have really stood up and have made Guyana proud, especially Rudolph Dunbar, a Guyanese man who was the first person of African decent to conduct the London symphony,” Minister Anthony informed.
He also said there are many other illustrious Guyanese like Dunbar who have made a name for themselves and Guyana in the music fraternity.
In addition, Minister Anthony lauded the work of many music educators from the 1980s who laid the foundation for music in Guyana.
Minister Anthony also indicated that he school will be putting in place the necessary logistics for persons to write external examinations, until Guyana can develop its own certificate programme.
The school, he said will also be facilitating the implementation of a national countrywide music programme, based on the Venezuela module.
The vision of school is to ensure that every child is able to play a musical instrument. “We will be moving to popularize music in Guyana, since we know its tremendous benefits,” Minister Anthony said.
The school will open new opportunities and thus empower a new generation with the right skills to compose, play and blend new forms of music for all to enjoy.
“We are confident that with the opening of this school we will be opening a new chapter in the development of music in Guyana and that years to come we will look back and be proud,” Minister Anthony said.
The schools is equipped with modern classrooms and musical instruments.
Cabinet congratulates district 10 for winning national schools championships
During today’s media briefing held at the Office of the President, Head of the Presidential Secretariat Dr. Roger Luncheon extended Cabinet’s congratulations to education District 10 –Upper Demerara Kwakwani, for again securing the top spot in the annual National Schools Athletics, Cycling and Swimming Championships 2011.
Commendation was also extended to education District 11 –North Georgetown and District 13 – South Georgetown for gaining the second and third spots, respectively.
“Congratulations to those students who participated and made it a truly competitive event,” he said.
The Education Ministry and the Guyana Teachers’ Union (GTU) pulled off its 51st annual National Schools Athletics, Cycling and Swimming Championships 2011 at the Guyana National Stadium, Providence, with participation from 1600 students and officials, from the various education districts.
The championships were held from November 14 to 18, and encompassed meets in athletics, cycling, swimming and other events.
Digicel was one of the main sponsors of the event as it was last year. Banks DIH, Demerara Distillers Limited, Guyana UK Sports Development Association, Giftland OfficeMax and Kashif and Shanghai were among last year’s sponsors as well. This support from corporate entities aids the Ministry of Education to effectively carry out the planned events.
The national schools championship has over the years produced many of Guyana’s national athletes who have represented the country overseas displaying their talents.
Breach of principle to have APNU's PR firm relaying elections results for GECOM
The People's Progressive Party/Civic wishes to state categorically that it is unethical and a clear breach of independence for the
President commissions Diamond Food Court – calls on services sector to meet high customer demands
The Diamond community on the East Bank of Demerara is gradually being boosted with the requisite facilities and services that complement the urban expansion plan government has been implementing.
The Diamond Food Court, an investment by the Guyana Oil (Guy Oil) company located next to the Guyoil Diamond Service Station was commissioned today with the cutting of a ribbon by President Bharrat Jagdeo.
Managers of Royal Castle, JR Burger and Pizza Boy, the three concessionaire operating in the food court, assisted the Head of State in the officiating before taking a tour of the new fast food outlet.
The Diamond Food Court which comes with a forecourt and has the capacity to accommodate 200 customers will soon be joined by a fourth concessionaire.
President Jagdeo described the investment as an indication of commitment to leadership and entrepreneurship, confident that the establishment of a fast food outlet in the suburbs would be as lucrative as those in the city.
“I hope that this will not be the only facility where a state enterprise will work in partnership with the private sector to bring growing and greater services to people who live in areas that traditionally have not been served by high services,” President Jagdeo said.
The Head of State was proud of the rapid growth in the services sector in Guyana and its ability to overshadow many of the other sectors as an employer and ,a large contributor to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
With growth in the economy and the concomitant growth in disposable income, President Jagdeo said the demands and expectations of people for quality services will also increase and in this regard he called on the business community to meet those expectations.
“If they (customers) were content to go to a cake shop in the past and get some supplies of food, they don’t want that anymore and this puts increasing pressure not just on the providers of those services but people who think in the traditional way because… if you don’t upgrade your businesses, if you do not keep up with the times and the changing demand in nicer environments…those businesses will fall by the wayside,” President Jagdeo said.
The Head of State was confident that many other private entities will emulate today’s investment.
Guyoil’s Director Oscar Phillips said that the company’s decision to diversity its business is mainly to attract more revenue.
He said while the company is looking to synergies to attract revenue, the Government through Guyoil has been cushioning the effects of fluctuating fuel prices on the Guyanese customers.
The community in which the fast food outlet is located will be part of an urban network with a housing scheme extending from Diamond all the way to the city, and a four-lane road.
Diamond has an approximate population of 40,000 and growing, three commercial banks, a Secondary School, East Demerara Regional Hospital, a $56 M well that serves over 8,000 residents of Diamond/Grove and Guy Oil Service Station.
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