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first_imgThe People’s Progressive Party (PPP) will keep its promises to the people of Guyana. That assurance was made by the party’s presidential candidate Irfaan Ali on Saturday where thousands of Berbicians turned up at Port Mourant to greet him.“The PPP has a track record of delivering on its promises,” he told the thousands assembled at the Train Line Dam, Port Mourant. On Saturday, Ali spoke of several promises which the coalition had made while on the campaign trail in 2015, but which failed to materialise. Among them were the creation of jobs, opportunities for young people, and that they were not going to close sugar estates.On the contrary to those promises made to the residents of Region Six, the Government once elected moved to close down sugar estates, causing thousands of workers to fall onto the poverty line.“We will reopen the sugar estates, so that there will be more disposable income. That is a promise that I am making to you and you know that the PPP has a track record of keeping its promises. We are not like ‘this Government’, that makes a promise and then go and do the opposite. What did they tell the sugar workers? What did they tell the rice farmers? The Public Servants were given some promises and the Government has now distanced itself from those promises,” Ali said to the thousands of upbeat supporters.Thousands of PPP/C supporters at Port Mourant rally on Saturday“You will see a government that will develop special policies and programmes that will deal directly to the problems of every Region. Just like we implemented a special bill that brought in incentives for investment in Region Ten, we will bring special bills and legislation and implement policies that will create incentives for businesses to invest in Region Six so that we can create new jobs and new opportunities here in Region Six.”Ali promised a positive turnaround in the economy of Region Six when the PPP returns to office. He said this will be possible while urging that everyone ensure they go out and vote on Election Day.“All this Government has done is to take away from the people. They have brought on over 200 new taxes and new fees that have affected your ability to purchase; your ability to participate in the economy because you simply do not have the disposable income,” he said.“Taxes have been increased and included on water, education and medical supplies,” the presidential candidate related while noting that the fees to lease Government land have gone up by 1200 per cent.“We are in the process of developing our manifesto, and you know, Comrades, when the People’s Progressive Party promises you something in our manifesto, we stick by that promise and we fulfil that promise and that is why the first thing that we are saying to you is that we are going to reopen the sugar estates in Region Six,” the 38-year-old said.Ali added that compensation will be given to those families whose lives were destroyed at the hands of the present Government when they snatched their livelihood by closing the estates.“We must and we will do it. We had told the Government that they cannot make a decision about sugar without a social and economy study because sugar is linked to every aspect of life in some Regions.”In Region Six, he noted many businesses are closing their doors while others are downsizing because persons lost their jobs.“People have lost their income so how is it that they are going to shop in the stores, supermarkets, and markets.”The drainage and irrigation system are linked to the sugar industry. With the closure of the Skeldon Estate, rice and cash crop farmers on the Corentyne are being affected because irrigation and drainage. Those systems are becoming clogged.“The industry supported auxiliary services like mechanical engineering as well as gave support to private cane farmers. The industry supported a system that brought economic benefits to all of Region Six.”Meanwhile, while thanking his colleagues for the trust which they showed in him, the presidential candidate told the thousands that the Party’s General Secretary is recognised internationally.“He is an international asset. We should be proud in the PPP that he is our leader. We have to use this asset as much as possible and as long as possible. I commit to you that I will take his counsel. We are a united party,” Ali said before he left the stage. (Andrew Carmichael)last_img read more