Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Eric Phillips' misleading letters on L.C.D.S attracts the attention of the Agriculture Minister.

Robert Persaud: GUYANESE of all walks of life are actively participating in the on-going consultations on the draft Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS).

A healthy feature is that many are seeking to learn more about the draft strategy, and many others have and are making constructive inputs, even if these are preliminary. And yes, there are some persons who have different perspectives on the LCDS. This is a healthy, reassuring feature of our democracy.

Public debate and discourse on the LCDS can only lead to an enhanced understanding and the full appreciation of this Strategy in its national and international contexts. What I find disingenuous are attempts by a few to mislead the public on the content and intent of the Strategy.

For example, I wish to refer to misleading letters by Eric Phillips in the Stabroek News of June 15, 2009 entitled "The Low Carbon Development Strategy is a new form of mendicancy", and in the Stabroek News of June 29, 2009 captioned: "The Low Carbon Development Strategy is about the air we breathe". This last missive was also carried in the June 29, 2009 Kaieteur News under the heading: "LCDS is about privatizing the air we breathe".

It is most unfortunate that whilst the great majority of persons at the National, Regional and International Communities are praising Guyana's visionary LCDS, these few individuals clearly unfamiliar with elements of the LCDS are openly critical, rather than seek clarification to reduce their unfamiliarity with the subject matter. To ensure that the public does not become confused by the misinformation peddled and to improve those individuals knowledge on the subject, the following facts are presented:

The LCDS was quoted by these letter writers as saying that for almost every year over the past two decades, Guyana experienced positive growth.

The letter by Mr. Phillips has not proven that to be incorrect. In actuality, he concurs with this assertion quoting the World Bank's Country Assistance Strategy for Guyana 2002 which states that there was positive growth, however some years the growth was of a smaller rate than others.

It is evident, that Mr. Phillips in an effort to present a certain unfavorable situation, quoted the report of 2002. He neglected to refer to the World Bank's latest release of May 2009 on the World Bank's new Country Assistance Strategy for Guyana 2009 to 2012 where it commends Guyana for excellent macro economic performance. The following was taken from the World Bank's website:

"Guyana has made significant progress in laying the foundations for macroeconomic stability and higher pro-poor growth...the Bank's Executive Directors commended Guyana for its macroeconomic performance over the past decade and recognized the progress made in improving fiscal discipline.

They emphasized the importance of accelerated broad-based and shared growth in order to mitigate the development challenges of high poverty and inequality. They also underlined the importance of Guyana's economic diversification through private sector development, and stressed the need to have the International Finance Corporation, the arm of the World Bank Group thatsupports the private sector, actively involved in the country."

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