Jagdeo is pushing for a 20% increase in public servants wages in this Times interview: “Jagdeo further explained that the employment bill is at some $42 billion and that Government could finance an increase in wages from the growth of the tax revenue over the last year.”
Stick a huge pin. Never had the previous administration voluntarily awarded a 20% increase. And only in December Rohee defended last year’s 5% increase to public servants saying …“everything has to do with affordability and what the budget can afford”, and “anyone would be grateful for any small freck nowadays”. FACT: The minimum wage for public servants in 2003 was $22,099. Minimum wage in 2013 was $39.540 –an increase of 78%. Revenues for the same period, thanks to the introduction of VAT which burdens the poor more than any other class, increased by 205%.
But with facts and figures at his fingertips the government will have their hands full with Jagdeo especially when it comes to the Public Accounts Committee which is chaired by an Opposition member.
We learn via KN that it is the the GGMC which has hoarded most of the deposits in commercial banks -$22B from overseeing the mining sector while the government is running a deficit of $36B. (We understand that GBTI is the bank holding most of the semi-autonomous agencies’ cash and Ashni had previously threatened to withdraw it but for a different reason). Minister Jordan says he will be removing the deposits in a phased manner “and even if government were to remove this money from the commercial banks all at once, the banks can easily replace that as “they have $56B parked at the Bank of Guyana doing nothing.” Imagine all that private wealth amidst poor social services and crumbling infrastructure.
“I am aware that a letter was sent in by the (GPL) DCEO. He wrote the letter saying he does not believe his actions were wrong. However, he will refund the money, but is requesting some time, because the cash was transferred to his United States (U.S.) account,” Minister of Public Infrastructure David Patterson told reporters yesterday.
This was a day after Ash Deonarine’s lawyer had said he would go to the courts if forced to return the cash. And more GPL drama: Senior Loss Reduction Manager, Loaknauth Singh, and Senior Investigator David Kaladin were sent on leave then as part of an investigation into wrong doings then a few minutes later were back on the job after CEO Bharrat Dindyal overrode his deputy Colin Welch’s letter. (KN)
Incidentally it’s strange how everyone is being sent on leave but Winston Brassington is still at NICIL even as an audit there limps along. Is the government serious about the NICIL audit?
It looks like there will be no fancy new airport terminal. Not enough money for it. Minister of Public Infrastructure David Patterson “noted that the work under the revised terms agreed to includes the extension of the 7,500 ft-long runway to 10,800 ft, renovation of terminal buildings, the provision of navigational aids, and the relocation of not more than 15 residences. The establishment of a commercial mall and expansion of the parking lot are also expected as part of the project. ” (SN)
“According to reports reaching this newspaper, BaiShanLin entered into a two-year agreement with local hardware company, Toolsie Persaud Limited, earlier this year, which saw the Chinese company offering to transport as much as 2000 tonnes of stone, at a much cheaper price than local operators.” (KN)
“So let’s say you get US$150 as an official but you went to Barbados and you got a room by the beach for US$100 then you have to bring the bill for the US$100 and give back the US$50.” (KN) US$100 by the beach? When last was Jordan in Barbados?
The Crum Ewing case: “You have to remember that there were other persons involved. There were at least a driver and a shooter. More work may have to be done to ascertain who, if anyone, was the planner of the crime,” the source said, before stressing that the case is not complete when a person is charged. (SN)
“While the Ministers were in Canada a firestorm erupted in Guyana over revelations that their per diem allowances were being increased exponentially.” (Times) Firestorm? A duplicitous story by one of your fiction writers described as “a big fat lie”. Heaven help the Chronicle if any senior journalist from the Times transfers there.