…touts local content legislationLocal contractors and companies should be given priority when contracts are being awarded, instead of being stymied by foreign investors, former Private Sector Commission (PSC) President Ramesh Dookhoo says.Former PSC PresidentRamesh DookhooDookhoo stated that the PSC was concerned that contracts were being awarded to foreign companies, while local investors were being sidelined and so the Commission was lobbying for more local content to be placed in contracts of foreign contractors.He indicated that this particular issue has been raised with several Ministers on numerous occasions, but nothing substantial has been done to address it. He explained that the problem started some time ago.Similarly, there are two cases of local companies being marginalised by the Government presently – the Demerara Distillers Limited, which lost its Topco Juice contract, and Guyanese stones suppliers being bypassed as stones for the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) Expansion Project are being sourced from a Surinamese company. DDL’s Topco Juice, which is locally manufactured, was distributed to students under the Government’s school feeding programme, but the contract was taken away and awarded to a Surinamese company that distributes Kool Kids juice. The CJIA Expansion Project contractor, China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) will commence importing stones from Suriname for the US$150 million taxpayer-funded project. Government officials had said the Administration had no part in sourcing the stones, subsequently adding that CHEC used imported stones because local prices were higher. However, critics are arguing that the local stones are of a better quality. “I believe that we do support our local Private Sector and we would want to say that wherever possible, contracts be awarded to them or at least be treated fairly,” Dookhoo said. “The way other countries deal with it is to put in local content legislation.” “You can’t build a hotel in Barbados and buy the furniture from Timbuktu. The tender goes out to the local Private Sector in Barbados first. They have to say I cannot supply it. Guyana will not be doing anything wrong or in contravention to any foreign trade agreement to put measures in place.” Dookhoo noted that the Private Sector has met with experts on local content who are in Guyana because of the nascent oil industry. He divulged that the experts are equipping the Private Sector with the technical support for local content succession. (Jeanna Pearson)
FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – With school back in session next week, police want to remind people to slow down from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm on weekdays in school zones.Police will have on duty officers making a point by being out specifically before and after school near school zones, according to Sgt. Steve Perret with the Fort St. John RCMP.Perret is reminding drivers to be extra vigilant with kids darting into streets with all the excitement of going back to school.- Advertisement -Perret hopes that everyone that sees the police presence will remember to slow down to 30 km in school zones.He says police understand that it has been months since people have had to obey school zones, but they want to re-educate everyone at this time of year.