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Pres. Ali shuts down Opposition’s call for higher payout to Amerindians from carbon credits sale

By: Shemar Alleyne

Shemar_alleyne@hgptv.com 

President Dr. Irfaan Ali, on Sunday morning, dismissed the Opposition’s call for a higher payout to Amerindians from the recent carbon credits sale, noting that his Administration has “consistently” done more for the Indigenous people. 

In a Facebook live stream, the Head of State noted that he finds the Opposition’s call to be “hypocritical” while referencing some of the shortcomings of the David Granger-led Administration against Guyana’s first people. 

“I guess it is the political nature of the people we’re dealing with, opportunistic nature of the people we’re dealing with,” President Ali posited.  

Since the announcement of the carbon credits sale and the percentage of the sum being allocated to the Indigenous communities, a number of persons have called for it to be higher, with Opposition Member of Parliament Dawn Hastings-Williams being the latest

Hastings-Williams had chastised the government for offering a mere 15 per cent from the sale while calling for it to be 85 per cent.  

But Dr. Ali said that Guyana’s Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS), which earned money for the country under the Norway Agreement, was “tossed aside” by the APNU+AFC Administration. 

“They tossed aside a strategy that the world embraced. A strategy that placed Guyana along an international path that not only brought recognition but brought respect,” said the Guyanese leader.

Moreover, the President went on to talk about the loss of jobs by Amerindian people during the APNU+AFC tenure, reminding that his government reinstated these positions, among other things, as soon as the PPP/C returned to office.

“Where were all these voices now that so love our Amerindian brothers and sisters? Where were those voices when this great injustice was done to our Amerindian people?” 

Apart from the 15 per cent from the carbon credit sale, the hinterland and riverine communities continue to benefit from budgetary allocation, President Ali added. 

“I found it very amusing and interesting to listen to some of these commentators, some of whom lost their voice.” 

Last year, the Ali-led Administration inked an agreement with Hess Corporation to sell carbon credits for a minimum of US$750 million. 

And Vice President Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo had said that the population size was a key factor in the government’s methodology for arriving at 15 per cent for Indigenous people.

A total of $4.7 billion, or US$22 million, will be distributed to 241 indigenous communities.

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