Senior Finance Minister, Dr. Ashni Singh successfully piloted a $61 Billion Appropriation Bill which, following the conclusion of debates from both sides of the House, was passed in the National Assembly on Wednesday.

The Bill was first presented by the finance minister during the 66th Sitting of the National Assembly on Thursday last. It caters for a range of developmental initiatives countrywide and includes provisions for more resources to enable construction and rehabilitation of community, urban and hinterland roads, drainage and irrigation works, the rehabilitation of health buildings and school-feeding programmes among many other areas.

Reiterating that the Bill was laid in the House in full conformity with the Fiscal Management and Accountability Act {FMAA}, the Finance Minister while responding to Opposition Member of Parliament Volda Lawrence who sought to query the process for bringing the Supplementary Financial Paper to the House, Dr. Singh said, “The Fiscal Management and Accountability Act has been in place since December 2003. It has been implemented by successive PPP/C Governments. It has been implemented by an APNU/AFC Government and the format for submission of financial papers has been abundantly ventilated and long settled and the format that is being used today is exactly the same as was used by the APNU/AFC…. so there’s no innovation in the format of the submission to this House seeking a Supplementary Appropriation.”

The Bill provides for $34.2 Billion under the Ministry of Public Works to support several programmes including those which require additional resources to facilitate the construction of the Wismar Bridge in Linden, the upgrading of roads and sea defences in various communities, the construction and rehabilitation of a wharf and stellings, and additional resources for the maintenance of the Berbice and Demerara Harbour bridges.

It also caters for $3 billion under the education sector to allow for more resources to support the country’s school feeding programme, the provision of grants to schools, additional resources to facilitate the completion of Good Hope Secondary School, and funding for the acquisition of more textbooks for schools.

Additionally, $1 billion is also being provided for under the health sector to go towards the rehabilitation and upgrade of health facilities around the country.

Meanwhile, more financing in sub sectors falling under the umbrella of the Office of the Prime Minister will see the Gas to Energy Project moving ahead further with a $5 billon injection for transmission and distribution initiatives along with another $927 million for the provision of more resources to support the electricity companies in Linden and Lethem.

The Government has also reiterated its commitment to absorbing the additional cost of services provided by electricity companies to prevent the effects of high electricity bills on citizens.

With respect to Agriculture, the Bill will see over $8 Billion more being injected into this sector to cater for drainage and irrigation works around the country while the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GUYSUCO) will receive additional funding to facilitate the rehabilitation of lands at Albion, Blairmont, Rose Hall, and Uitvlugt estates.

The security sector is yet another area that will benefit from a $400 million injection to allow for additional resources such as vehicles and boats to boost the operational effectiveness of the Guyana Police Force as well as an additional $1 billion for the upgrade of police stations, quarters, other facilities, furnishings and equipment.

In addition, $563 million has been provided for the upgrade of infrastructure across several bases of the Guyana Defense Force.



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