Tuesday, September 27, 2011

PNC’s APNU has no credibility to lecture Guyanese on management of the nation.

PNC's 1987 budget was titled '10 to 1 is murder' by the Stabroek News

The Stabroek News cartoon after Greenidge's 1987 budget presentation

Agri Min. Robert Persaud: “Guyana has recorded a solid macroeconomic performance in recent years, supported by prudent policies.” This is a direct quote from the World Bank. Compare this quote with an IMF staff report on Guyana during the PNC period and you will see the difference. Here is the IMF quote about economic management during the PNC period – “Following the1973–74 crisis and throughout the late-1970s and early-1980s Guyana’s political climate was marked by continued instability, the absence of dialogue and consensus-seeking, and a further weakening of key institutions, such as the rule of law. Production of all the major commodities declined sharply; public utilities and social services barely functioned; and real wages fell sharply (by 40 percent between 1976 and 1986). During the 1976–88 period, real GDP per head fell by 31 percent, inflation soared eightfold, foreign exchange reserves dwindled, and government debt rose from 31 percent of GDP to 475 percent. In1984, real GDP fell to its lowest level since 1955, and the size of the informal economy was estimated at 40 percent of the formal economy.”

These are not the words of political operatives but of the World Bank and IMF. They should be taken seriously, and certainly more seriously than the fanciful pronouncements of Carl Greenidge, the last PNC Finance Minister and now APNU economics tzar. What Carl Greenidge fails to admit is that the PPP/C Government has established a solid macro-economic environment. So robust is our economy that Guyana has been able to survive global food, fuel and financial crises unlike many larger economies. Further he ignores the fact that in 2010, the Guyanese economy (at current prices) was more than fifteen times the size it was in 1991 when he was at the helm.

But when Greenidge refers to the PNC track record in government, he seems to forgot what the IMF said, the Caribbean Council of Churches and the hardship every Guyanese experienced during that disastrous period of our country when mismanagement was the most outstanding feature.

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