Minister of State, Joseph Harmon on Wednesday said the establishment of an Economics Ministry would create “additional bureaucracy”.
Harmon’s comments comes on the heels of calls by political activist, Dr David Hinds and former Auditor General Anand Goolsarran for a Ministry of Economic Planning to be established, giving the current state of Guyana’s economy.
In an interview with Guyana Times on Wednesday, Harmon indicated that while the economy did need extra coverage, that fact did not justify the country needing a whole new ministry.
He stated that he was aware that the Finance Ministry would deal with matters relating to the economy.
Meanwhile, Dr Hinds stated that while more emphasis should be placed on economic development, he was not of the opinion that the Ministry of Business was the “place for that kind of thing or the Ministry of Finance”.
He explained that those Ministries would have their own agendas and given the magnitude of economic development, its own ministry was much needed. “We need a Ministry of Economic Planning and even if not a ministry, there should be a prominent section that deals with economic planning,” Hinds reiterated.
Citing Guyana’s relationship to the Caribbean and the rapidly changing world, Hinds stated that the country would constantly need to implement novel economic strategies.
Goolsarran also had stated that economic planning was a prerequisite for any country’s development and given Guyana’s economic status, it made sense for the country to have a Ministry of Economics.
The Government has been consistently criticised for stating that Guyana’s economy has been growing. Goolsarran rebuked the coalition Government for its denial of the current ailing state of the country’s economy, stating that a three per cent growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) did not mean all was well with the economy.
“The Government is in denial that the economy is slowing down, but it is evident,” he stated. Goolsarran indicated that 40 per cent of the youths were unemployed; there was evidence of under-employment; businesses were struggling; and there was also the existence of parallel economies.
Hinds had suggested that both the Government and the Opposition sit down and come up with a National Development Plan for Guyana.