Minister Jordan touts more incentives for persons willing to get involved in local building material production
GINA, GUYANA, Tuesday, May 2, 2017
Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan said that he is prepared to recommend to Cabinet that government give more incentives to those private sector individuals and entities willing to get involved in areas such as clay brick manufacturing, and the production of pre-fabricated houses.
The Finance Minister said that he is keen on seeing houses built for the local and overseas market with Guyana’s wood, clay brick and other locally sourced materials.
“I want to see maximum use of our bamboo and wood including the shavings and our coconut, being used, and if memory serves me well, I believe that the Institute of Applied Science and Technology (IAST) once experimented with producing clear toilet bowl and wash hand sinks. Indeed, I seem to recall that a local private sector entity which had benefited from loans from the now defunct Guyana Agricultural Development Bank (GAIBANK) had actually developed a bathroom tub, and a range of bathroom furniture made out of PVC material,” he stated,
All of this, Minister Jordan explained, adds value, provides employment and reduces demand for foreign currency. “Guyana once exported clay brick and prefab houses to our sister CARICOM territories,” he reminded.
“We have the knowledge, we have the skills and we have the raw material, so let us get back into that groove,” he urged. The minister expressed his views as he spoke at the launch of the government’s “Housing Solutions 2017 and Beyond,” programme on Friday at Perseverance on the East Bank Demerara (EBD.)
He further called for the launch of the government’s housing programme to be the start of, “A Buy Guyana Campaign,” similar to that being promoted by the United States President Donald Trump to “Buy American. If I had Trump-like powers I would immediately sign an executive order to enforce such a campaign, wherever the treasury money was involved,” the minister said.
Additionally, Minister Jordan said that he was completely in sync with Minister of Natural Resources Raphael Trotman’s call to restrict the importation of pine wood, pine doors, sheet rocks, clay brick tiles and all those other building materials that compete unfairly with locally produced building materials.
“I was in Thailand twice where I saw the use being made of bamboo, and coconut. Indeed I sleep on a bed at a top class hotel, the frame of which was made of bamboo and in Norway I bought a decorative chandelier that was made of wood shavings…it was powerful example of what use can be made of wood, and we have all kinds of wood here, where that can happen,” the minister said.
By: Macalia Santos