The Private Sector Commission (PSC) says it would like to see Government do more to increase the wealth of all Guyanese.
It called on the Government to create the enabling environment and engage the business community to “facilitate the creation of employment opportunities, have wage growth and put in measures to increase the wealth of all Guyanese.”
Registering its dissatisfaction with the way Government has been managing the economy, the PSC says its affiliates hosted a meeting with a wide cross-section of members of the business community on Monday, February 13, 2017, to discuss the issue, among other things, which are having a serious impact on the survival and growth of businesses.
“The members of the business community present expressed a lack of confidence in the manner the Government is managing the economy. This is reflected in the flight of capital from Guyana and the lack of significant new investments in the last 2 years” the body said.
It alluded to the “crippling” new taxes for the mining sector and the institution of Value Added Tax on necessities, adding that real estate values are dwindling and property for sale inventory is on the rise.
The trajectory in which the country is heading at the moment does not inspire investors’ confidence, the PSC said.
Another matter discussed at the meeting was the Parking Meter Contract which has been in the news for several weeks.
The members of the business community are demanding that a Commission of Inquiry be set up to investigate the fiasco of the Parking Meters.
The business persons said it must be determined whether there are statutes in place to allow the Mayor and City Council to unilaterally enter into an agreement with Smart City Solutions (SCS) and clarity should be provided as to the feasibility studies done, the nature of accountability for the revenues, the role of Government in each stage of the project, the tendering and approval process, and the extent of a legal review of the contract.
“Given the obscurity of the process, the consensus was that the contract be rescinded in its entirety,” the PSC said, joining the call previously made by the political Opposition and the Movement Against Parking Meters (MAPM).
The PSC also calls for the issues facing the judiciary to be addressed, including the presence of one Commercial Judge to handle the thousands of cases annually which it says is “inadequate”. The body said there is a need for judges to be appointed at all levels especially at the Court of Appeal and the High Court.
It noted that political involvement in the judicial system is another of its concerns adding that there must be a separation of the Government and the Judicial System and Government must ensure full autonomy and adequate financial resources for a properly functioning system.