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Ramjattan ditches Private Sector Commission’s call for extending opening hours of bars, night clubs: “It will not be done”

Last Updated on Wednesday, 4 November 2015, 17:16 by GxMedia

Public Security Minister, Khemraj Ramjattan.

Guyana’s Public Security Minister, Khemrj Ramjattan Wednesday definitively ruled out the extension of the opening hours of bars and night clubs, less than one day after the Private Sector Commission (PSC) publicly appealed for him to do so.

“It will not be done. It’s 2 O’clcok. I might very well bring it forward to 12 (midnight). Didn’t you hear today what drinking is causing and how ,any deaths it is causing. You bother with them private sector people…,” he told reporters shortly after an event organised by the Guyana Road Safety Council.

Ramjattan insisted that his stance is based on the linkage between drunk driving and an increase in road accidents, an argument the PSC said lacks any evidence.

Hours earlier Wednesday, the PSC strongly recommending that consideration be given for bars and night clubs to be open until 4:00 am on Fridays, Saturdays and Public Holidays for those night clubs located in commercial districts and zones and those which comply with building codes that limit noise nuisance.

Further, the in addition, with the upcoming Christmas holidays, the PSC recommended the extension and relaxation of the 2:00 am edict to facilitate our visitors for Christmas and into the New Year.  This is especially so, as seek to mark the 50th Anniversary of our Independence in 2016.”

The PSC said the 2 AM closure ordered by Public Security Minister, Khemraj Ramjattan to help stem road accidents and domestic violence was having a significant negative impact on businesses within the entertainment industry.

“Many of the businesses are faced with the threat of closure and downsizing as a result of this decision.  It is also our concern that this could have a long term negative impact on our developing Tourism Industry,” said the PSC in a statement.

The business organisation suggested that Ramjattan’s decision was not based on any evidence. “There has been no definitive study on the social impact of the later closure on crime and accidents and this tends to be notional.”

The PSC called on the Minister of Public Security to rethink this strategy and its implications on business.