|Bhoe: Opposition worried Government floundering |
DARCEL CHOY Monday, March 20 2017
Caroni Central Member of Parliament Dr Bhoe Tewarie says the Opposition is very worried and concerned with the way the government is managing the country’s finances.
At a press conference at the Office of the Opposition Leader, Charles Street, Portof- Spain, Tewarie said they were also concerned about the government’s failure to take decisions that will lead to stimulation of investment, reversal of recession, restoration of growth and creation of jobs in the economy.
Tewarie also expressed concern over Finance Minister Colm Imbert’s announcement that some $1.7 billion in the Heritage and Stabilisation Fund (HSF) will be used to partially fund the country’s $7 billion Public Sector Investment Programme (PSIP).
“This is in addition to about $11 billion already borrowed during their term so far, a worsening debt to GDP ratio as borrowings increase and the GDP continues to decline...
we are very worried and concerned about how our country is going to repay such high debt in the absence of confidence in the absence of ecnomic growth and with proseperity no where near on the horizon,” he said.
He questioned whether the PSIP has been financed in the past five months.
“The PSIP was allocated according to the 2017 budget $7 billion so does it mean that no money has been spent and that nothing has been done for five and a half months.
“Does it mean they are now beginning to finance the PSIP in mid-year and he has not told us what are the projects.
Since the budgetary allocation is about $7 billion, what part of the PSIP and what specific projects will this $1.7 billion be used for and how much impact will it make?” Tewarie said. He said the country’s economic situation has been getting worse with declines in each quarter since the People’s National Movement has been in office. He said the general feeling of the population was that the government was floundering.
“This is also a feeling in the business sector which is that this government is overwhelmed, that they are out of their depth and incapable of offering solutions to any of our major challenges, whether it is the murder rate, whether it is managing revenue and expenditure and deficit, whether it is stimulating the manufacturing sector, facilitating the expansion of the services sector. Initiating construction activity, boosting agriculture, attracting investment or taking the necessary action to move the economy from decline and recession to growth and prosperity.” Tewarie said the Opposition was concerned that revenue targets were not being met.
“We are continuing to spend more than we are earning, the deficit or fiscal gap is increasing.
With a $50 oil price and a $3 gas price, the government seems to be making no effort to live within its means,” he said.