As Minister of Finace, Winston Jordan announced that the economy performed miserably in 2017, several market vendors are concerned about what the announcement could mean for business.
The Guyana Daily News on Saturday took to the streets to find out what were the vendor’s view.
The overal consensus is that business has not been as “green” as it should be in the vegetable section of the Monrepos Market, East Coast Demerara.
One vegetable vendor noted that he is worried that people will cease coming to the market and spend their monies, “dem people gun hol an to dem money” he said in the Guyanese grass root language, Creolese. He is of the opinion that people will not go back to the olden ways of self sustenance.
He informed that he sold approximately $3,000 for the day when Daily News visited, usually sales would be somewhere around $10,000 and increasing, he said.
Further down the line, the usually busy and bustling market, saw several spaces where vendors usually ply their trade, it was no hassle to traverse the market on Saturday.
Another vendor, a grocer, justified his reason for a sluggish economy, he said that “the government does not have a clue about economics” and hence the reason for the Minister’s announcement in Friday.
On Friday last, the Finance Minister announced that the economy did worse in 2017 as was predicted, the growth rate was a meager 2.1%, expectations were pegged at 3.8%. 2018 economic projections are set at the same target, 3.8%.
However, several government officials including Public Infrastructure Minister, David Patterson, noted that becuase of the “sound economic” policy, the economy is flourishing. However, word in the street tells a different story, one of gloom and doom.
Despite the negative feelings that emanated from the Minister’s announcement, some vendors remain optimistic that the economy will plane out and become buoyant once again.
Those optimisms are trailing on a good life promised by the proceeds from oil revenues which is expected to start flowing some time in 2020.
A visit to the La Penitance Market, Georgetown, the same scenes replicated it self. Several years ago, vendors laced the entire stretch of the road where the Market is located up to the bridge just before the Police Station. On Saturday, only vehicles were parked there, vending started from around Yams shop and concluds at the end of the market itself, or thereabout.
Daily News was told that this has been the case for approximately two years now, “business bad” one man who sells plantain noted. He further told the News outfit that “you couldn’t pass here so freely a couple of years ago.”
The David Granger administration also noted during the announcement, that several sectors performed bad, such as gold and bauxite.
The 2017 Auditor General report concreted the fears of the business community and give credence to their so called speculation that “business is bad.”
The report noted that the BOG gold reserves are dwindling, while the foreign currency reserve is also depleting. This can only be as a result of less earnings from exports, as was identified by Public Accounts Comittee Chairman and Opposition MP, Irfan All.
The vendors are calling on the government to do more for the country.