Handcuffs now translating to investors feeling shackled

first_imgDear Editor,Recent charges against former Government officials who were key operators under the previous Government for private investment have left investors wary of dealing with the APNU+AFC Government.Recent charges against Singh and Brassington dealing with 3 major investors; pending investigations into over 20 more investment transactions spanning 20 years; and the shackling of former senior Government officials are now translating to investors feeling that they, too, could become trapped when engaging with APNU.Similarly, charges against the Board of Directors of one of the largest Guyanese banks by SOCU has raised questions on whether SOCU is carrying out its mandate in an independent and professional manner, or is simply following political instructions. SOCU and SARA are increasing being viewed as political, rather than professional. Employees of SOCU no longer see themselves as operating independent of Government, and have taken an attitude of simply awaiting orders.The newly created SARA, facing legal challenges on its legality, is also strongly opposed by the private sector, particularly given its staffing by former political persons, and the considerable power that the agency has been given at the expense of due process. Dr. Clive Thomas of SARA also seems embroiled over whether he will remain the Chairman of GuySuCo.Fear now stalks the land. If the Police, including SOCU, do not believe that they can act as an independent and professional agency, but are simply an extension of the political apparatus; if judges fear that any judgment against the Government will be met with criticism; if media houses feel that if they publish against the Government they may be intimidated or threatened; if the Opposition in Parliament feel that they are being muzzled; if the private sector is fearful of vindictiveness from the Government and SARA/SOCU coming after them; then democracy is under threat.The Parliament, Police, Judiciary, media, private sector are all key to the checks and balances of a democracy. When these institutions’ independence is under threat, then so is democracy.It is a fact that no new major investor has been secured by this APNU+AFC Government. The spate of criticism against the manner of negotiations by APNU officials with Exxon questions Local Government capacity, expertise, and conduct, and leaves Guyana exposed. The pending $30 billion bond for GuySuCo, shrouded in secrecy and lacking any transparency and accountability, is also causing potential investors to feel vulnerable.No less than a full Government guarantee, saddling the Treasury with high cost debt, is now required. Increasingly, the APNU style of limited engagement with key stakeholders, media, and public, coupled with criticism levelled against it of corruption and procurement breaches, seen alongside handcuffing and threats against former Government officials, is now manifesting itself to investors growing wary of engaging with this Government. As one investor said, we are seeing ominous signs signalling the risks of doing business in Guyana. No new investors, and domestic capital flight only confirm these risks.Sincerely,Political observerlast_img read more

Bush loses top economic adviser

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREPettersson scores another winner, Canucks beat KingsHubbard’s departure comes as Bush faces one of the biggest economic challenges of his presidency, a severe slump in housing and a credit crisis that have roiled financial markets and triggered fears of a recession. Hubbard said in a letter to Bush that he would leave by year’s end. “Were it not for my strong desire to spend more time with my kids, I would not have considered departing,” said Hubbard, the father of three. Hubbard wrote that the Bush White House was a place of “forthrightness” and “mutual respect” in Washington, which is “often portrayed as an arena of deception and self-promotion.” Hubbard has helped direct White House policy on entitlements, energy security, climate change, housing and trade investment. He has been deeply involved in the debate over a children’s health insurance program and Bush’s proposal to treat health insurance costs as taxable income for the first time. “Al contributed his own ideas and also worked to ensure that all views were brought to the table and given fair analysis and debate,” Bush said. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! WASHINGTON – President Bush on Wednesday promoted his No. 2 economic adviser to the top job after yet another White House aide announced he was quitting before the administration’s final year in power. Departing is Al Hubbard, director of the National Economic Council, which advises the president on U.S. and global economic matters and helps coordinate policy. His successor is his deputy, Keith Hennessey. Hennessey came to the White House in 2002 and has been deputy to two previous directors of the council. He also was a top budget aide to Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss., and worked for the Senate Budget Committee. “Keith has been an important member of my White House team for more than five years,” Bush said in a statement. last_img read more