Gov’t foresees booming economy

– VP Jagdeo

Vice President Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo says the Government foresees a booming economy in the near future. He said there has been a lot of healthy signs of economic recovery, with major investments pending with both local and international investors.

The Vice President made this disclosure during an interview with NCN on the administration’s first 100 days in office.

Dr. Jagdeo said the Government has cleared many permits for local investors, which had been stalled by either City Hall or the Central Housing and Planning Authority for over two years. These amount to over $10 billion, he said.

There are also over 30 Expressions of Interest for the construction of major hotels. Of that amount, only about four will be realised, the VP said. Additionally, the Government has received several proposals for the reopening of the sugar estates.

“The economy, in spite of the COVID, we have been trying to boost it and it is going to get better… With our plans, it will take a year or two to really get the economy in really good shape and a lot of hard work, but I think we are going to have a booming economy in the near future with multiple sectors opening up. And we have been aggressively pursuing this, day and night, since we got into office,” the Vice President said.

At the same time, Dr. Jagdeo anticipates that it will be an uphill battle since the previous administration left the economy in a fragmented state. This was coupled with escalating borrowing and money expended on things that do not benefit the people, he said.

It was highlighted that the now main Opposition took away $1.5 billion for the students $10,000 grant, but increased dietary supplies by $1.6 billion. The rental for buildings also soared by an additional $1 billion. The State Assets Recovery Agency (SARA) spent over $600 million per year, but never recovered a single asset, he said. SARA has since been disbanded by the Government.

Additionally, the non-oil sectors plummeted even before the pandemic, Dr. Jagdeo noted. He highlighted that the previous administration took away incentives from the productive sectors with the introduction of burdensome taxes, which were either reversed or removed by the PPP/C Administration in the recent budget.

“A lot of money escalated in the last five years on a whole range of things and agencies that were not producing welfare for people…So a lot of strain on the budget came because of this rapid growth in recurrent expenditure, but not recurrent expenditure that ended up in people’s pocket,” Dr. Jagdeo said.

The VP said once the economy picks up, the Government will be able to retire debts owed and pump more money into the economy to directly benefit its citizens.