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OPINION: A response to Jordan

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By Anil Nandall- MP 

Ministers of this Government continue to exhibit a reprehensible aura of arrogance, bullyism and a “wrong and strong” approach in their public outpourings. The latest outburst has come from the Minister of Finance in relation to the over $750,000,000 owed to contractors and suppliers of materials for the Durban Park project. The Minister of Finance boldly asserts that the Government will pay only $500,000,000 and will not pay the outstanding $250,000,000. When pressed by reporters, the Minister boldly asserts that the $500,000,000 is the Government’s full payment and those who are owed any additional sum “can take it or leave it” or sue the private company Homestretch Development INC, a company that no one excepting, a few in Government, knew existed until recently. As far as the public is aware, this company has no assets and no known capabilities to pay $250,000,000.

In a nutshell, the Minister of Finance is telling these contractors that the Government has or will rob them. This is the same Minister who in his budget speech only two weeks ago said that this Government is committed to the rule of law and will respect the constitutional and legal rights of the people of Guyana. It is now clear that apart from being robbed everyday by bandits, the Government has now signaled an intention to rob the Guyanese people, as well. This must be an unprecedented approach for a Government to take in the modern world.

This posture of the Minister of Finance comes on the heels of Minster Raphael Trotman’s statement that people need to stop lamenting about the heavy tax burdens imposed by the budget and should “get busy”; and the Government’s arrogant and outright rejection of an invitation to meet with the Private Sector Commission and the Labor Movement to discuss the 2017 budgetary measures.

This exhibition of arrogance and intolerance must be strongly rejected. My advice to the persons who are owed the $250,000,000 is to sue the Government, the private company and its directors/shareholders, personally. The corporate veil will not protect directors and shareholders who have fraudulently and deceptively withheld from the public that they were dealing with a private company but in fact deliberately led them to believe that they were dealing with the Government of Guyana.

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