AGENDA FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND JOB CREATION

(ABRIDGED VERSION)

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REDUCE TAXES… MORE MONEY IN YOUR POCKET!

  • Pay no taxes on personal income on the first $100,000 or less. 
  • Reduce VAT from 14% to 12%
  • Make cars more affordable: 
    • Less than 2000 CC: duties from 45% to 20%
    • 2000 – 3000 CC: duties from 200% to 75%
    • 3000 CC or more: duties from 297% to 100%
    • No taxes on new electric and hybrid cars. 
  • Abolish property and capital gains taxes
  • No taxes on data plan, electricity, water and education
  • No import taxes on machinery for farming, mining and other manufacturing industries
  • Tax free status for all farmers
  • Reduce import taxes on all medical and health care supplies 
  • Reduce taxes on fuel from 50% to 30% immediately 
  • Double the Old Age Pension

DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS FOR JOB CREATION

  • Liberalization of the Telecommunications sector. IT hubs to expand job opportunities for youths
  • Central Government Campus driven by information technology and artificial intelligence
  • Demerara and Corentyne River Bridge within three years 
  • Specialty Hospital for expanded healthcare in all regions
  • Shore Base Port and Oil Services at Crab Island, East Berbice.
  • Road from Mandela Road to Timehri
  • Regional Economic Zones – Integrating Community Development with job creation.
  • Pipeline bringing Gas to shore to power a massive industrial development program
  • Value added to Bauxite
  • Downstream Petrochemical Projects
  • Gold Refinery to increase local value added
  • New City – Georgetown has surpass its capacity

REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT PLANS FOR JOB CREATION

Programs across all Regions

  • Housing and community development 
  • Expand road networks and connectivity.
  • Tax Free Status for all farmers – they pay no income tax.
  • Elevate the standard of health care.
  • Expand vocational training to equip our youths with the skills for entry into the workplace and inspire entrepreneurship.
  • Job creation initiatives in all regions through fiscal incentives for business development.
  • Paddy Bug control in all rice growing areas
  • Facilitate private sector investments in agro-processing.

Region 2 – Essequibo Coast and Islands

  • A Special Economic Zone based on processing of agricultural production. Includes Coconut, Cassava and other ground provisions and rice cereals.
  • Expanded roadways to open thusands of acres of agricultural land
  • Aggressively promote Agro and Eco-Tourism
  • Build and equip a modern hospital 
  • Cogeneration of electricity from abundant supplies of rice waste.
  • A solar farm to generate 5MW of electricity.
  • Improvement of the wharf and port facility

Region 3 – West Coast Demerara

  • Build a fixed bridge across the Demerara River within three years.
  • Cogeneration of electricity at Uitvlugt Sugar Estate and other value added and diversification initiatives.
  • Lands of closed Sugar estate to be allotted to displaced sugar workers for agricultural development.
  • Improvements in farm roads and drainage and irrigation infrastructure in rice growing areas.

Region 5 – Mahaica – Mahaicony

  • Reverse the exorbitant increase in land rents to rice farmers.
  • Improvements to the drainage and irrigation infrastructure.
  • Cogeneration of electricity from rice waste.

Region 6 – East Berbice.

  • Special economic zone for agro-processing agricultural.
  • Lands of closed Sugar estate to be allotted to displaced sugar workers for agricultural development, Government to provide technical, product development and marketing support.
  • Cogeneration of electricity at Albion and Blairmont.
  • Phased diversification initiatives at all sugar estates
  • A royalty of $5 per metric ton of bauxite exported to fund developments in New Amsterdam and Kwakwani.
  • A shore base oil services facility on Crab Island
  • Open vast acreage of lands on the east bank of Berbice for agricultural development – dairy, beef, oranges, limes, avocados, cocoa, rice, etc
  • Facilitate private sector investments in fishery and agro-processing.
  • Designate investments in east Berbice as tax free for five years.
  • Address the spiraling crime, blackouts and poor infrastructure

Region 10 – Linden

  • A Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Linden based on processing of Guyanese hard-wood.
  • Wood processing facility owned by Linderers in joint venture with local or foreign private companies who bring capital and technology
  • A port facility for the loading of logs and export products
  • Cogeneration of electricity using the by-product of wood processing.
  • Encourage Increased value added on Bauxite through fiscal incentives.
  • A special levy on raw log and bauxite ore exported to provide funding for Linden’s industrial and infrastructural development.
  • Attract investors for large scale agricultural development of the intermediate Savannahs.
  • Revisit the Tiger Falls hydropower project.
  • Engage the Government of Brazil on the Lethem-Linden road and make linden a transshipment port.
  • Enhance Eco-tourism development.
  • Extend vocational training facilities to Linden.
  • Low cost financing to stimulate small and medium sized businesses

Oil & Gas: Guyanese First Policy

  • Negotiate a better deal over time on all existing contracts.
  • All blocks for which the investors commitments were not delivered to date would be returned to state ownership and vested in a state-owned National Oil company (NOC).
  • Every citizen of Guyana would be assigned shares in the NOC from birth. Such shares would appreciate in value with every Auction and signing bonus. Sales of these shares may only be disposed of to one’s family or the NOC. This will give every Guyanese a stake in our oil resources and the benefits thereof.
  • Blocks would be auctioned periodically to realize the highest price with attractive signing bonuses.
  • From 2020 to 2022 revenues from oil would be used to uplift the income levels of all employed through reduction in income taxes, improvements in health care, education and urgently needed infrastructural works including a bridge across the Demerara River.
  • From 2023 the Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) will be activated. A portion of the annual income from oil will be appropriated to this fund. The balance would be appropriated to specific Funds for infrastructural development, a Healthcare, an education, an agricultural and industrial development fund.
  • A special allocation, a Welfare Fund, would be made to finance a safety net for depressed communities, single parents, the elderly and the more vulnerable in our society.

Housing and Community Development

  • Formation of a Housing Development Corporation, to professionally run on the basis of private sector principles of efficiency, in planning and building competitively priced low and middle income homes.
  • Allot Completed Homes instead of House Lots
  • Low cost financing to buyers of these homes.
  • Allocation – Teachers, Nurses, Police, Low income earners.
  • Special Economic Zones with attractive fiscal incentives to incentivize job creation around these communities.
  • Mini Power Grid based on renewables to provide low cost electricity in these areas.

Rice and Agriculture 

  • Remove VAT on all Capital equipment for Rice and the agricultural sector generally.
  • Reduce taxes on fuel from 50% to 30% immediately 
  • Establish an Agricultural and Industrial Development Bank to provide low interest credit to farmers and small businesses 
  • Staged investments to improve infrastructure in agricultural areas across our Country to improve access, productivity, reduce postharvest losses and stimulate investments.
  • Reform the GRDB to remove political domination and improve its research and development capability.
  • Cut the high cost of export of rice including the export commission to GRDB.
  • Mandating GRA to absorb the cost of scanning export containers.
  • Inspire a culture of service to the agricultural sector by the Ministry of Agriculture 
  • Fiscal Incentives for export development in all areas 
  • Convert NARI into a Research and Development entity to prepare project profile of new crops for plantation style development.

Energy & Electricity: End Blackouts!

  • Phased Privatization of Generating Assets. Generation of electricity to be private sector managed and owned and electricity supplied to GPL under a Power Purchase (PPA) arrangement.
  • All investments in new generation to be fueled by LNG or gas that is more cost effective and environmentally friendly.
  • GPL to use its resources in building a modernized Smart Grid to ensure reliability, better management and control of technical and commercial losses.
  • Recapitalization of GPL financial structure by Government taking over all loans and improving GPL’s credit rating and borrowing capacity. Instead of loan repayments
  • Diversify the energy mix by facilitating private sector investments in solar, wind and hydroelectric projects under a PPA.

Health Care

  • Provide first world quality healthcare in all regions. 
  • Improved training facilities for nurses and Medical professionals
  • Review role of NIS and the ease of accessing health care coverage 
  • Incentivize private sector health programs to attract world call service
  • Build the Specialty Hospital
  • Reorganize the Georgetown Hospital Corporation
  • Restructure the national procurement of drugs.
  • Elevate the quality of medical care in rural areas to reduce the reliance on facilities in Georgetown.

Governance: Power to the people

  • Constitutional Reform: more representative democracy
  • Legislation End Corruption
  • Regulations for campaign financing
  • Institutional Strengthening of Integrity Legislation
  • Procurement Legislation
  • Source of Funds legislation

Crime and Security 

  • Professional standards for hiring and training of police. 
  • Increase salaries, health and benefits for all security personnel
  • Use of Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras in populated areas
  • Strategic Community policing with a concentration on high-crime areas
  • E-policing design to improve community trust in police officers
  • Move prisons out of Georgetown and Lusignan
  • Establish a corruption court. 

WOMEN’S RIGHT

  • Increase representation of women at every institutional level
  • Equal pay for equal work
  • No job discrimination based on gender or age
  • An independent sexual harassment tribunal
  • Strengthen domestic violence legislation
  • Gender sensitivity awareness campaign in public/private sectors
  • Strengthen the family court system
  • Train police to respond appropriately to cases of violence against women
  • End sexual harassment in public transport
  • Employ more Women Police Officers

YOUTH POLICY

  • Make youth employment and entrepreneurship a critical component of the macro economic framework
  • Make schools and University curriculum more responsive to the needs of the economy
  • Stem the tide of mass migration by UG Graduates by creating jobs through an expanded economy.
  • Tax incentive Mechanisms to encourage Employers to provide on the job training for youths 
  • Tax credits to Banks and other lending institutions for financing entrepreneurs, startups, small businesses and micro-enterprises.
  • Corporations will receive tax credits who create, adopt or maintain community sports facilities.
  • Free education from Nursery to University, plus 20 Scholarships to the top performing students across Guyana for specialized study every year
  • Develop a National Sports Strategy to lift the standard of sports 
  • Build a strategic alliance with the Business sector to host, sponsor and manage sporting events, provide businesses with tax incentives
  • Establish a Junior Olympics program

EDUCATION

  • Free education from Nursery to University
  • Scholarships annually to the top performing students across Guyana for them to pursue specialized studies based on our development  needs
  • Increased focus on Mathematics, English, Technology and Science subjects
  • Opportunities for youths living in poverty and vulnerable and disadvantaged youths to be provided with training and vocational education
  • Where necessary, new technical and vocational centers to be expanded to reach rural areas in partnership with the private sector, guaranteeing that jobs will be available for graduates
  • Expansion of the Government Technical Institute and the Board of Industrial Training to allow for easier access by youths in rural and hinterland communities.
  • Employment of Teaching experts in Technical, Vocational and Remedial training both from Guyana and overseas to train our teachers to make curriculum materials more relevant to the job market
  • Life-Long Education focus on Mathematics, English, Sciences, Languages, Artificial Intelligence and Entrepreneurship.
  • E-learning Platform
  • Enhancement of funding to Educational Institutions and Educators’ Remuneration
  • Promote safer and secure schools for teachers and students

Anti-Corruption Policy – Drain the Swamp

  • Legislation – make public officials accountable. New legislation will impose severe consequences for not only the takers of a bribe but also the givers, including jail sentences. Contractors convicted of bribery will be banned for life from participation in the bidding process.
  • A special corruption Court to expedite such cases.
  • Enhancing the capacity of the Integrity Commission to investigate every case of corrupt act and enforce prosecution.
  • Creating the Office of the Contractor General with responsibility for post review of all public contracts to ensure performance and value to the taxpayers.
  • Making abuse of public office on offence.
  • Lifting everyone through broad based investments and development. Jobs with better pay. Balanced developments in all regions to uplift rural communities.
  • Better pay for Police, Teachers and Nurses.
  • Reducing the extortionary level of taxation that facilitates corruption.
  • Improve good governance, transparency and accountability at all levels of Government.
  • A smart Government. A government campus powered by Information technology including AI to cut transaction cost, enhance the efficiency of delivery of service, and real-time accessibility all across Guyana. This will promote transparency and accessibility to information and lead to better accountability.
  • A commission on citizens rights to ensure equal opportunities for all.

The billions lost through corruption, wastage and mismanagement could have taken us so much further. It could have:

  • Built five bridges across the demerara and Essequibo and Berbice rivers.
  • Built a network of roads and highways across our country.
  • Built state of the art hospitals in every region.
  • Built economic zones across Guyana with thousands of high paying jobs. Curb the endless migration from our shores.
  • Supported massive agricultural and industrial development.
  • Built a smart grid for GPL and end blackouts.
  • Remove extortionary taxation and VAT.
  • Everyone could have been able to afford a new car and middle income home.
  • An old age pension of three times the current amount.