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Government indifferent to society’s plea, according to VES

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The Association of Economics in Suriname (VES) has frequently warned President Chan Santokhi that pursuing economic policies along with the infamous “friends and family, sponsors and loyalists strategy” will only broaden and deepen poverty and increase social tensions. Sadly, the president, vice president, and other government officials have not paid attention to this. The president appoints the vice president’s younger brother to the position of director of the state-owned business N.V. EBS even during this “tumultuous” time. The VES says in a letter to the government that this demonstrates how oblivious the government is to the cries of society.

She gratefully accepts the offer but declines to take part in the preliminary consultation for a potential national conversation despite having received it in excellent order. The VES is still available to provide any substantive support for social and economic policy.

The president’s desire to begin holding a national dialogue is welcomed by the VES. The VES informed everyone of this’s importance much earlier. The VES previously advised the president to start enacting the required, “unpopular,” economic measures on June 16, 2020. Within a year, this would bring the economy back on track. The administration has continued to be indifferent to the repercussions that the VES has attempted to preserve, and the president has continuously disregarded the many dozens of recommendations from the VES since then.

On October 17, 2022, the 50th anniversary, we have accepted President Santokhi’s request to work with the VES and provide you with advice on economic obstacles. This is based on the maxim “better half turned than fully lost.” Since then, the VES has discussed the plan three times with the President and once with the acting Minister of Finance and Planning. Nothing has resulted from any “partnership” thus far. Advancement is arduous and slowly made. The media does provide information to the VES regarding many social and economic actions the president and the government have taken or plan to take, whether or not they fall under the state budget. Yet, at no point were any data, information, or documents shared with the VES, nor were their professional advice or opinion requested.

Nonetheless, as upright Surinamese, the VES advises offering actual assistance if needed to strengthen the economy of the nation. A stable exchange rate, stable prices, improved productivity, and a long-term social program all depend on a balanced socioeconomic strategy. “It is not the IMF programme, but the socio-economic policy that you have jammed that is the cause of the hopelessness experienced by the vast majority of citizens and companies, with all the undesirable consequences that entails,” said the VES.





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