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Friday 19 January 2018

Analysts: PM’s address overly optimistic

Dr Keith Rowley

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley’s address to the nation on Sunday evening was described by two political analysts as “overly optimistic” and short on details as to how the country was going to extricate itself from the present economic difficulties.

Speaking on the theme Towards a Better Future for All, Rowley urged citizens to keep hope alive despite the frightening murder rate and the stagnant economy.

Interviewed yesterday, political analyst Dr Bishnu Ragoonath said while the Prime Minister’s theme was to give hope to the nation, he may have “overstretched” himself by outlining projects which may not be financially feasible.

“I think that was the intention – to engender hope in the population – but whether it would achieve that, because people are very much so pessimistic about where we are and where we are going, and to that extent they may very well feel that the Prime Minister was overselling (rather) than being realistic as to what could happen and should happen,” Ragoonath said.

On Petrotrin, while Ragoonath said he preferred to see the plans for the revitalisation of the state oil company before offering a comment, he felt Rowley had not identified how the company would repay its debts or whether retrenchment was part of the restructuring plans.

Political analyst Dr Mukesh Basdeo said Rowley had not offered anything different from what had been discussed in the 2018 budget.

“There weren’t any specifics with regard to, let’s say policies, other than identifying Petrotrin as a problem, and it didn’t identify how we are moving forward to treat with Petrotrin. So the specifics of how we deal with the economic issues, the crime scourge – those policy issues were not firmly addressed,” Basdeo said. Asked whether the message had engendered hope in the population, he said the address should have included clear policies and goals for the entire year.


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