Strange that APNU talks about unemployment when it helped destroy AFHP- project would have created jobs –President

Georgetown, GINA, September 2, 2013

 

President Donald Ramotar last evening criticised the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) for its statements about youth unemployment, particularly given the party’s role in assisting to destroy the Amalia Falls Hydro Power (AFHP) project which would have had a transformative effect and resulted in the creation of jobs for Guyanese, including youths.

 

Speaking at the launch of the Amerindian Heritage Month 2013, President Ramotar said, “I find it strange that people will talk about youth unemployment, about unemployment generally in the country and damaged one of the projects that would have increased employment to our people, would have helped us to save enough money to generate new economic activities.”

 

The Amalia Falls would have resulted not only in reduced cost of electricity for consumers and the business community, but would have transformed the lives of all Guyanese.

 

President Ramotar also accused the Opposition of manufacturing all kinds of excuses in order to justify their narrow-mindedness, with regards to their position on the hydro-power project as he pointed to their latest distortions about the project’s debt.

 

“They are saying that we are increasing the debt on the nation. That is totally not true. This project is fundamentally a private sector investment…” he said.

 

The Head of State had reiterated several times before that Guyana is incurring no debt from the project, which is one of its strongest benefits for the taxpayer.   There will be a reduction in the GPL tariff which will allow for the removal of the subsidy that the taxpayers have to give the power company today (which is mainly used to offset the cost of GPL’s electricity). This will save over US$30 million per year, or US$600 million over 20 years, to be invested in other areas such as education, health and roads.

 

Secondly, a pass-through of the remaining savings to the consumer, will result in a reduction of over 20% in the electricity bills of Guyanese businesses and consumers within two years of the start of Amaila’s operations – and significantly more in the years ahead as GPL’s tariff gets progressively cheaper (unlike with oil and diesel, Amaila’s electricity price decreases dramatically over time). The pass- through of GPL’s progressively cheaper tariff can lead to reductions in the consumer tariff well in excess of 50% of today’s price after twelve years.

 

“It seems that we have a group of people instead of concentrating on development and manufacturing of goods and services, they seem to be specialised in manufacturing confusion and lies.”

 

The private sector and other stakeholders on several occasions have made clear their position that the project is one that is good for Guyana. The investor, the Sithe Global, responded to the political bickering by throwing in the towel; and the people, the ordinary Guyana are now bracing themselves for all those things that follow high energy prices.

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