PPP crafting manifesto, touts bipartisan approach to managing petroleum sector
A bipartisan approach to managing the oil and gas sector is high on the People’s Progressive Party’s manifesto as it prepares for the next General and Regional Elections.
Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo on Thursday told reporters that the party is exploring models on how the sector can be efficiently managed if the PPP gets back in office.
“We would like to see a model where the major parties of this country sit together in the future to oversee this process, regardless of who is in power and we believe that the People’s Progressive Party will be in power,” he said at his Church Street, Queenstown, Georgetown office.
The manifesto will be launched after the ruling of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) on the validity of the December 21st No-Confidence motion, Jagdeo said.
Jagdeo said the PPP has been looking at various models to determine which would ensure the maximum benefits from the oil and gas sector goes to Guyanese citizens.
He said strict measures will be put in place to ensure that citizens know the exact amount of money collected by the Government for the petroleum industry.
“Within one month of being in office, we will criminalize non-disclosure of any receipt from oil companies. So within two months, if they do not gazette the monies and notify the parliament, there will be a jail term of ten years attached to it. So and ordinary citizens of Guyana can go online or get the gazettes and just add down and they would know how much money we collected from the oil sector,” the Opposition Leader said.
He told the media that the PPP is also looking at a workable local content policy –one which is able to deliver the 50,000 jobs the PPP has promised.
The promise of 50,000 jobs was made initially by the PPP Presidential Candidate Irfaan Ali who came under heavy criticism as persons questioned the party’s inability to deliver on that promise.
“We’re working on a package of incentives to for all the sectors of our economy…and you will see some exciting new concessions and help to the services industry so that they can generate the 50,000 jobs,” he said.
Jagdeo said the PPP will open up eight to ten thousand house lots per year, reduce and abolish some taxes and provide more concessions to the services sector.
“We already know which taxes we’re going to reduce, which we’re going to abolish and we want to ensure that overall, in the new Government, that the tax system doesn’t push up cost of living nor adds to the administrative burden and cost of production for manufacturers and producers,” the Opposition Leader stated.
Further, there is a promise to ensure that public servants, teachers and members of the disciplined forces “enjoy better conditions of service.”
Jagdeo said the PPP will also strengthen governance institutions, particularly those to fight corruption.
Asked if he thinks these things will be sufficient to remove perceptions of corruption during the PPP’s tenure, Jagdeo said the Government was unable to prove that there was corruption.
“We are prepared to stand by our record,” he said.
He criticized the Government for not being able to develop a single new housing Scheme since May 2015 when they were elected to office.
The manifesto will be launched after a date for elections is named.