Compiled by Odeen Ishmael
(Thunder, 30 July 1960)
EXPANDED D-PLAN AT LOWER INTEREST RATES
Asked at his press conference to comment on the PPP General Secretary's call for Guianese support for an expanded $200 million Development Programme, and the projects on which the increase will be used, also bearing in mind Mr. Berrill's warning that the country's borrowing power cannot now exceed $110 million, Hon. Dr. Cheddi Jagan gave the following reply:
We want $200 million as
soon as possible. There are some items which are left out of the Development
Programme which can be included in the new plan. For instance, the East Coast
Road, the Georgetown Hospital, the hydro electricity scheme at Tiger Hill on
the Demerara River, an airport terminal building, a teachers' training college.
There can be also an intensification of industrialisation and a quickening of the pace of development in the drainage and irrigation sector.
The East Coast Road is estimated to cost about $25 million, the whole electrification programme with hydro about $45 million, the Georgetown Hospital about $8 million, the airport terminal building and the teachers' training college about $1? million, expanded drainage and irrigation about $20 million, and industrialisation unit $12 million.
You will remember that Mr. Berrill limited our Development Programme to $110 million, but this figure was arrived at after taking in to consideration what our income and our debt burden
will be during the next 15 to 20 years. I do not agree exactly with Mr. Berrill's basic assumptions.
These were, as you remember, the rate of (1) growth of the economy and rate of increase in revenue at 6 percent per annum and (2) the rate of interest on borrowing at 6 percent for the next 15 to 20 years. I have always argued that looking at it over the long run Mr. Berrill's assumptions are too conservative. He has under-estimated our earning capacity and over estimated our debt burden.
It is more than likely that with the present trend of world events, interest rates are likely to
fall and that more easy money will be made available through national and international agencies for the development of underdeveloped territories like British Guiana.
This Government or any other Government if it is to solve the problems of British Guiana must find the funds needed to carry out this expanded programme. We will continue to make efforts to get loans at low rates of interest.