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|PM dubs Linden economically viable community|
|Thursday, 21 June 2012 21:13|
PRIME Minister Samuel Hinds has rejected the notion that the community of Linden is not economically viable, and is suffering from lack of investments by government.
Responding to the question of the viability of the economy in light of the increased tariff in electricity, the Prime Minister said Linden is not different from other communities across Guyana, and those communities are coping with paying their electricity costs. Grilled on the employment rate in Linden, he said it is not significantly different from other parts of the country.
With regard to creating employment, Hinds explained that while the government is doing its part, the private sector plays the leading role in this regard. “So when we put aside socialism, we go to capitalism and we did say that the private sector is the leading sector,” he pointed out.
According to the Prime Minister, there is no difference between Linden and other communities in terms of economic viability.
Speaking to the issue of whether Linden residents could afford to pay increased electricity tariffs, Hinds said he is of the view that Guyanese have to manage the best way they can, and pay for their electricity.
“I don’t think that we have a significant difference in people’s situation in Linden and the rest of Guyana,” he explained.
According to Prime Minister Hinds, government has made significant investment in Linden, as in any other region. He cited the infrastructural works, construction of schools, housing and hospitals as just a few examples.
Responding to the notion peddled in the public domain that Linden is a depressed community, Hinds objected to this, blaming politicians who make Lindeners believe that they are disadvantaged and neglected. This, he said, is aimed at scoring cheap political points.
In the area of housing, Hinds said that, over the years, the Government of Guyana, through the Ministry of Housing and Water, has made significant investments in the mining town of Linden.
The Ministry of Housing and Water, under its Central Housing and Planning Authority arm, had invested more than Gy$1.4B. in Region 10.
In 2004, the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) had undertaken two major projects for the construction of roads, drains and structures for more than $245.6M, and the installation of pure water distribution network for more than $60.5M.
These investments brought benefits to more than 4,100 residents living in Amelia's Ward, Linden.
In 2005, the Ministry of Housing and Water invested $6.1M for the construction of roads in South Amelia's Ward, which saw more than 554 persons benefiting from improved infrastructure. Additionally, $33.5M was invested for the construction of roads, drains and structures in Wisroc, which brought benefits to more than 1,230 residents, he said.
The Guyana Government’s support for Region 10’s development includes a regime of investment incentives which are provided for in Customs (Amendment) Act No. 6 of 1999, Investment Act No. 1 of 2004, and Customs Duties (Amendment) (No.1) Order 2004. Included in the legislation are incentives for communities of Linden, Ituni and Kwakwani; and waiver of customs duties and consumption taxes on all imported plant, machinery, equipment and spare parts.
The Linden Economic Advancement Programme (LEAP) is a Government of Guyana and European Union programme with the objective of fostering entrepreneurship and enterprise for economic development of the town of Linden, he said.
Additionally, in the face of continued decline of the bauxite industry in Region 10, and the consequent severe economic dislocations, the Government of Guyana and the European Union initiated efforts to expand Region 10’s economic base through the diversification of the local economy away from the traditional bauxite dependency.
The Linden Economic Advancement Programme (LEAP) was launched in 2002 with a planned injection of 12 million euros for the execution of the project over a seven-year period. LEAP is intended to be a means for the achievement of economic diversification of Region 10, through increased investment and emergence of a viable entrepreneurial sector.
These objectives were pursued through establishment of the LEAP Business Incubator, which is nurturing fledging businesses; providing training and business support services to an active client base throughout Region 10; facilitating new investments; and rehabilitating economic infrastructure.
These activities are undergirded by a continuous public education programme, the Prime Minister disclosed.
|Last Updated on Thursday, 21 June 2012 21:14|
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