Ali bemoans downfall of construction sector


Former Minister of Housing Irfaan Ali has lamented the drastic decline in the construction sector and dismissed rumours that the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) has been instigating contractors to execute projects at a slow pace. Ali, who is also a parliamentarian, told reporters at a press conference Monday that the construction sector has been performing poorly compared to how it was under his stewardship.

“I can tell you, the performance of the construction sector, you could have felt it! Many mornings, I would come over the bridge and stand up in front Providence and at the back of Eccles and see hundreds of workers, hundreds of workers going in there to build people homes and then, if you stand there long enough, by 10 o’ clock you’ll see people going in to sell food, but 12 o’ clock they’ll take in lunch so it’s a trickledown effect. So the construction sector can stimulate the economy in the faster way so, why add VAT?” he contended.

Ali called on the administration to remove the taxes which he believes are saddling the sector as he made a case for a PPP sponsored motion on budgetary recommendations to be debated before the presentation of the 2018 budget.

The motion details over 100 proposals for the government to implement in order to stimulate the economy.

“That motion covers our analysis of the economy and interventions that is required by the government in every single sector,” he explained.

However, Ali noted that the Speaker Dr Barton Scotland and the Clerk of the National Assembly Sherlock Isaacs are to this date unable to review and/or approve the motion because they were out of the jurisdiction.

With Budget Day set for November 17, Ali still hopes the motion can be debated before its presentation.

Ali also denied rumours that the PPP is encouraging contractors to execute projects at a slow pace in order to contribute to the failure of the construction sector.

“That’s the lamest excuse you can make for poor performance. Lemme say one thing, the PPP is about Guyana and we want to see development and we want to see the economy grow and projects completed on time,” he posited.

Ali is arguing that the economy is failing miserably because of the number of taxes and increase in fees.

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