Opposition Leader called out for misrepresenting IMF report

General Secretary of the People’s Progressive Party, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo, has blasted Opposition Leader, Aubrey Norton, for blatantly misrepresenting data published in an International Monetary Fund (IMF).

During his budget debate presentation last week, the opposition leader quoted the report which highlighted that Guyana lost 41% of its economy as a result of inefficiency.

General Secretary of the People’s Progressive Party, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo

“He then goes on to say calculate how much of the economy we are losing through inefficiency. So, he says, the IMF says that we are losing 41% through inefficiencies and therefore added a figure nearly $200 billion, we are losing because of inefficiency,” Dr Jagdeo told reporters at his weekly press conference at Freedom House on Thursday last.

Dr Jagdeo clarified that this report was published in 2017, a period during which the APNU+AFC was in office.

The IMF conducts public investment management assessments (PIMAs) for

individual countries. In 2017, the IMF undertook a PIMA, which estimated that despite a relatively high capital stock, Guyana has an estimated efficiency gap of 41%. The IMF had said that this is much higher than the average for Latin America and the Caribbean at 30% and 27% in the Emerging Market Economies.

As such, this “inefficiency” identified in the report spoke to the policies implemented by the former APNU+AFC Coalition government.

The report also highlighted several measures that should be put in place to alleviate the inefficiency gap, which included a rule-based fiscal framework, establishing a policy framework for public-private partnerships, and improvements in project preparation.

The general secretary said that the PPP/C government has implemented many of these measures, so the report is no longer relevant to Guyana’s economic state of affairs.

“We have done feasibility studies on almost all of these and almost every road project, every big project that we have had. We have had to go through an efficiency assessment for it. So, this has come down significantly,” he noted.

The general secretary continued, “And this was a 2017 report assessing APNU’s operation. At that time, we knew what was happening because there was nothing. So again, he misrepresents what’s in the IMF report.”

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