Two leading private sector organizations – the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce & Industry (GCCI) and the Private Sector Commission (PSC) are maintaining their demand for a complete revocation of the existing parking meter contract between the Georgetown Mayor and City Council and Smart City Solutions.
This comes even as a Parking Meter Negotiating team, led by Councilor Malcolm Ferreira, is reviewing the contract in response to public outcry and protests.
The private sector bodies met with the team on Tuesday and stated that that they would not be complicit in supporting the continuation of a highly contentious contract that was signed amidst widespread public concerns about transparency and sovereignty.
In a joint statement, the GCCI and PSC said the private sector supported the position of the Movement against Parking Meters (MAPM) and were repeating their call for an immediate and complete revocation of the existing contract between the M&CC and SCS.
The private sector bodies stated that they are fully behind the M&CC in its efforts to develop and implement revenue generating initiatives.
The private sector representatives added that while the issue of traffic congestion in the Central Business District of Georgetown must be addressed, there are a range of alternative and workable solutions to decrease traffic congestion, and, simultaneously, guarantee revenue.
“The private sector bodies made it clear that they welcome constructive foreign investment and participation in the development of the country, but took strong aversion to exploitative and one-sided engagements,” the statement added.
Directly addressing the issue of the contract between the M&CC and Smart City Solutions, the President of the GCCI, Deodat Indar raised a number of issues that the private sector objects to.
These included the lack of evidence of any economic/ social impact assessment done prior to the implementation of the agreement between M&CC and SCS; the absence of any feasibility studies done on the project prior to its implementation and the blatant failures to adhere to the Public Procurement process – clear indications that the procurement regulations of both the M&CC and the Government of Guyana have been breached.
The private sector bodies were also concerned that no provisions made for concessionary parking for persons affected by disabilities and VAT being charged on penalties imposed under the parking rules.