– accuses some senior staffers of being ‘at sea’ and ‘sailing’Many of the economic woes facing Guyana are mainly owed to the incompetence and ignorance of some senior staff at the Finance Ministry, including subject Minister Winston Jordan.This blunt observation was made by former President Bharrat Jagdeo at a press conference held on Tuesday.Jagdeo, a Moscow-trained economist, contends that many of the explanations given by Jordan and his staff about the economy are irrelevant and do not address the concerns facing the people.“They are at sea at that ministry…at the Ministry of Finance, (they are) sailing all over the place,” he declared.The former President said the argument about the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) sabotaging the economy was senseless and did not hold any ground, but rather reeked of political prejudice.Jagdeo, who is the current Opposition Leader, reminded that international financial agencies like the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had pointed out that the economy would collapse.“There has been a decrease of supply in foreign currency to the market from every sector, except gold. We earned less in foreign currency. FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) has dropped (and) remittances have dropped,” he explained.Jagdeo also criticised the central bank’s explanation for the slowdown in the economy, describing it as “lame”.“We don’t have a freely determined exchange rate any longer,” Jagdeo stated, while contending that the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Government has destroyed it. According to him, the Government has kept the rate at G$215 because of “bullyisim and executive fiat”.”In highlighting recent comments made by Jordan in sections of the media about Government’s intention to maintain prudent fiscal policies against external shocks, Jagdeo said his comments were baseless.“They hide behind this. Things that sound good but mean nothing,” he opined.Jordan said recently that Government planned to continue improving its operations to ensure that the measures outlined in the 2017 budget were executed on schedule.“Is he saying that they are going to cut expenditure to adjust to the changing global environment or is he saying that they are going to increase expenditure? Is he saying that we are going to cut taxes or increase taxes to get more revenue?That’s when it makes sense,” Jagdeo stated.Jordan had said that the overall economic and fiscal performance in 2016 was similar to, or slightly better than, the projections developed at the time the 2017 Budget was prepared.Since the budget was prepared, he said, the risk of external shocks has increased. The Minister maintains that Guyana remains highly vulnerable to shocks owing to the absence of a diversified economy.