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Indian Government Agrees To Finance Stadium In Guyana

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

GEORGETOWN, Guyana: The Indian Government has agreed to contribute US$6 million towards the financing of a multi-purpose stadium in Guyana.
This latest development steps from discussions President Bharrat Jagdeo had with the Indian Government officials during his second State visit to the country earlier this month. When the President visited India in August and requested assistance to build the stadium, the Government of India indicated its willingness to consider a proposal.

In December a team of Indian experts visited Guyana to follow up on the proposal by President Jagdeo.

The stadium, will be multi-purpose in nature, and will be used primarily to host the 2007 World Cup Cricket.

The next World Cup Cricket is slated to be hosted in the Caribbean and if all preparations are made, Guyana will be bidding.

The stringent deadlines to construct the facility were communicated to the Indian Government President Jagdeo said, and they agreed to work assiduously on the matter.

The site identified for the stadium is Providence, East Bank Demerara.
In a television interview today, President Jagdeo noted that in discussions with the Indian Government, it has been agreed that Guyana will be given a grant of US$6 million and offered a soft loan amounting to about US$20 million.
Construction for the stadium will start later this year, the President assured.
"I came back with the assurance from the Prime Minister and President of India that the cricket stadium will be built. That they would give us a grant of US$6 million and a soft loan to cover the rest of the stadium which could be as much as US$20 million," he said.

According to President Jagdeo, Guyana will be bidding to host the 2007 games later this year and he has to attach his signature to the bid document, guaranteeing that Guyana will be ready by the stipulated timeline to host the cricket competition.

"That would have certain implications for Guyana. It would expose the country. If we are not ready, the country could have a liability exceeding US$50 million and I am required to put my signature to the guarantees. It means that I have to make sure, as President of this country, that we are ready and the key thing to being ready is to have the stadium in place. There are other things that we have to do but that can be done through national resources," he said.

The President expressed confidence in signing the document, as the finances are assured.

In 2003, the Committee that was set up to establish the stadium wrote to the Head of State requesting his help with the financing of the stadium. At that time President Jagdeo responded that Government is prepared to offer its support in the form of providing the land.

The new stadium would cater for cricket, football, athletics and concerts, among other activities. He noted that private investors could consider the options to build a complex and shopping mall nearby, along with a housing scheme for accommodation.

The President had repeatedly noted that hosting World Cup cricket is truly a national effort and requires several facilities, including accommodation, the stadium, developing taxi services, a liaison component and ensuring that Guyana's tourism potential is fully showcased.

He noted that Government is hoping to work with all interested groups to make the stadium a reality and the hosting of World Cup Cricket in Guyana a possibility.

Source: Caribbean Net News


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