Opposition Member of Parliament (MP), Geeta Chandan-Edmond claims that the A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance for Change (APNU+AFC) was not part of the consultative process in the crafting of the National 2021 Budget. This, she contends, is a clear violation of the laws of Guyana.
During the 20th Sitting of the National Assembly this morning, the MP claimed that the Coalition represents “more than half” of the population and therefore, to not consult with it is a major disservice to the nation.
Chandan-Edmond, a former Magistrate, told the Senior Minister at the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance, Dr Ashni Singh, to return to the drawing board, and to reach out to the “vendors, fisherfolk and other sections of the working class, and those stricken by poverty” to get an understanding of what is happening on the ground. The MP said that endorsing the budget would be an ‘abdication’ of her duty to the people of Guyana.
Government MP, Sanjeev Datadin, who spoke after Chandan-Edmond, said that all sections of society were consulted prior to the crafting and presentation of the budget. These factions, he listed, include: the labour movement, all political parties, and private sector bodies.
While Datadin did not explicitly say if the Coalition was invited to these consultation, he posited rhetorically, “If the Opposition does not want to attend consultation, how can they be consulted?”