The Private Sector Commission on Sunday appeared to warn the political opposition that it could become “obsolete” because of its posture on investment.
The Chairman of the PSC’s Trade and Investment Committee, Ramesh Dookhoo was at the time addressing the formal opening of H.F.D Mining Supplies Inc. at Forshaw and Oronoque Streets, Queenstown, Georgetown.
“Those politicians that want us to do less than we are doing now may be in for a shock because they themselves might become obsolete at some point in time,” said Dookhoo. While he did not specfically name the opposition, it is no secret that the PSC has been pressing the opposition to support several major infrastructural projects with little or no success.
The former PSC Chairman, who is also board chairman for the Guyana Water Inc. and the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA), hailed the country as a place that cannot turn back. “It is a pity that all of Guyana’s politicians and businesses do not believe that Guyana is an economic bubble,” he said.
Dookhoo’s comments came against the background of the opposition cutting the 2013 National Budget for a number of projects including the expansion of the CJIA and the Specialty Hospital to be built at Liliendaal. The construction of the US$858 million Amaila Falls Hydropower plant has been also scuttled by A Partnership for National Unity’s (APNU) refusal to lend support to two key instruments in the legislature on grounds that the project was not feasible and would lead to a huge debt burden because of inefficiencies at the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) which would have purchased electricity from the hydropower facility.
The PSC two months ago had described as “disconcerting” APNU’s decision not to support the hydropower project unless government had approved a raft a local laws that had returned from a parliamentary committee.
Speaking at the launch of the Surinamese-owned H.F.D. Mining Supplies, Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment, Robert Persaud advised the investors to ignore labels that Guyana is a land of corruption, inefficiency and other negativities.
Despite recent fluctuations in the price of gold, Persaud said at the same time declarations of the precious metal has soared to 24 percent over the figure for the corresponding perio last year. The actual declared amount is 340,000 ounces. “We see you are coming into an industry that is growing and our government is committed to a responsible and environmentally conscious mining sector,” he said.
Persaud reminded that Guyana was taking steps to eliminate the use of mercury in gold mining in keeping with international requirements.
In an interview with Demerara Waves Online News (www.demwaves.com), Director of H.F.D Mining Supplies Inc; Karel Dawson said gold detectors were an alternative to mercury but they could not detect very fine gold particles. Also being used are shaking-tables. “But those systems are still very expensive so that keeps the small miner from not taking care of that,” said Dawson who is also an eco-tourism operator in his native Suriname.
With newer technologies, he said gold recovery would be higher even at areas that have been previously mined.
H.F.D. plans to establish small depots in the interior from where miners can easily access supplies.