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Govt not ruling out buying aircraft as charter cost soars

The Guyana government has been told that it should consider buying its own fleet of aircraft because it is too expensive to charter planes to shuttle government officials across the country and overseas, a senior government official said Wednesday.

Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman, who  hosted a post-cabinet news briefing,  said he was unaware of a plan by the 10-month old coalition administration to buy an aircraft  for use by the President and ministers. “Not to my knowledge but all things are possible,” he said.

Trotman, however, recalled that Finance Ministry official, Tarachand Balgobin suggested during  2016 budgetary preparation talks with him that government should consider purchasing aircraft due to the high level of travel by representatives of the Ministries of Natural Resources, Agriculture and Communities.

“He (Balgobin) said from a cost-benefit analysis it seemed best and, in fact, he said he would investigate whether or not it made sense for us to own and maintain a fleet of aircraft because the amount that is being spent on charters is high but these are necessary for us to be able to access the ten regions,” Trotman said when asked by Demerara Waves Online News.

The Minister of Natural Resources said the purchasing of aircraft by government was before Cabinet but “nothing is being ruled out.” Asked whether Balgobin’s suggestion was that the aircraft be bought for domestic use, Trotman said “for use.”

Asked whether he favoured Balgobin’s suggestion, Trotman said he is a servant of the government and if the government provides an aircraft he would take it.  “Nothing is before Cabinet but nothing at the same time is being ruled out because that suggestion did come from Mr. Tarachand Balgobin himself.”

  • ExPPP_Man

    Becoming an African nation ! King has expensive jets, subjects in dire poverty.

    • Col123

      Exman…You are just envious…We are a nation which is moving very fast…we have a good captain..we are in a celebrating mode, most on top are living well, those below deck will be brought up to the….. .heck,,,why the Titanic came to mind…

  • Emile_Mervin

    Hell to the no! Only 10 months in office and the talk is now about buying fleet of aircraft to fly government officials at home and abroad is so insensitive to ordinary Guyanese, I think this government lost its marbles. This should not even be a topic of discussion!

    Where do these folks have to go so often that they need their own planes? What foreign investment benefit have they brought to Guyana as a result overseas jaunts since taking power?

    And it is not even an unlikely possibility, because this subtle denial was the same reaction to initial reports of a pay hike for the Cabinet Makers, only to see the pay hikes come to pass with the rejoinder that the hikes will discourage corruption among cabinet ministers. Memo: Corruption has myriad manifestations.

  • Col123

    This is a very progressive move by our govt. It will be great to have our own fleet of planes for every Minister..a jumbo jet for the President and Prime Minister will make us all proud…… If we are to stand up and be counted, everyone should dress well ,travel in style and flaunt our wealth a little…We have gotten this far in getting rid of corruption and the drug economy,….we have oil..gold, rice and sugar..and now , without corruption…. we can utilize some of the wealth for our elected officials to get around easy…as a start…I am also hoping that we give each one of our ministers one of those USD $100K made SUV…this will let them ride in style and reduce the stress of the job…

    • Emile_Mervin

      You are cracking me up of late. Rich! Very rich!

      • Col123

        EM:…I truly believe that we would see Guyana taking a leap forward…into the future… .with a change in govt…..in my lifetime…now it seems impossible…all my hopes are squandered by these reports…I am now resigned to just not let it bother me….but I still feel for those who are challenged daily, without the opportunity to realize their future…

  • Col123

    Peter….not sure if you are kidding….but you supported my position….”In foreign governments the Presidents and Prime Ministers have their own private plane owned by the Government, the ministers fly by either military aircraft or commercial flights that are chartered, so whats the big deal you morons.” ….as you get older …you may not take life so seriously…..btw…you may want to research that foreign govt bit… a little more…On a serious note…This govt. is off the charts with their remarks…whether solicited or not!….they are not proving to be politicians either!!!!