Saturday, December 5, 2009

Finance Minister seeking another US$25M from nation's coffers

Kaieteur News news item, Friday 04 December 2009 - "Finance Minister seeking another US$25M from nation's coffers …to extend fence, build roads, fuel for joint operations, etc" -

By Gary Eleazar

Finance Minister Dr Ashni Singh, by way of two supplementary papers tabled in the National Assembly, is seeking another $4,677,208,405 (the equivalent of US$25M) from the nation’s coffers.
Dr Singh yesterday tabled the documents asking that it be debated at the next sitting of the House.
According to financial paper three with the schedule of supplementary provision on the current and capital estimates totaling $2.2B, some $28M was allocated in the voted provision in this year’s budget, and now the Guyana Defence Force is gearing to receive another $22M for the extension of a fence at Camp Groomes on the Soesdyke Linden Highway.
The GDF is also slated for an additional $135M under ‘Legend’ fuel and lubricants and it is explained that the money is required to meet additional expenditure.
The Defence Force will also be receiving under the description “other” an additional $273.8M
And this too is listed to meet expenditure for joint operations.
Added to the $14.5M that was given to Office of the President for the purchase of equipment another $5.6M is being requested.
The Public Works Ministry is also slated to benefit from some $1.2B in addition to the $67M it had already received.
Office of the President-Presidential Advisory is in line for a generous boost of $50M in addition to its original allocation of 413.6M.
The document that was tabled by Dr Singh stated that the money is to meet expenditure in relation to the Office of Climate Change and the Low Carbon Development Strategy.
The Agriculture sector is also slated for just under half off a billion dollars with $10M of that identified for hinterland communities affected by El Nino.
Included too in that sum is the $400M that will be going to the Guyana Rice Development Board which was announced earlier this year by head of State Bharrat Jagdeo to assist rice farmers.
Another $40M will be shared between the National Agriculture Research Institute and the New Guyana Marketing Corporation.
On the supplementary provision of the capital estimates on financial paper four, the Guyana Sugar Corporation will be the beneficiaries of another $1.4B in addition to the $1.8B for the construction of the packaging plant at Enmore.
The two papers make their way to the House shortly after the National Assembly approved more than $2B in addition to what was voted for in the 2009 Budget.
The Minister in August successfully tabled the First Schedule of Supplementary Provision on the current and Capital Estimates totaling $247.4 million for the period from July 16 to December 31 this year.
The monies requested at that time for current estimates included funds for the Amerindian Affairs Ministry for items such as rental of buildings, print and non print materials, fuel and lubricants, vehicles spares and services, other transport travel and postage, electricity charges, training (including Scholarships) and another item line named ‘other’.
As it relates to the rental of buildings, no money was voted for in the budget and the Finance Minister had sought some $2.5M on their behalf.
For the Ministry of Health, in addition to the $7.3M voted for the maintenance of buildings, an additional $30M was received and it is said to be used for the refurbishing of offices, electrical installation and plumbing to existing buildings to house staff of the Ministry of Health that formerly occupied the building that was destroyed by fire.
Under the Agency, Guyana Defence Force Defence Headquarters, below the description of ‘other’ an initial $350,000 was voted and another $115M was sought to meet expenditure for joint operations.
Under capital estimates, a total of $93.9M was allocated to the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Amerindian Affairs and Education.
There was also the second supplementary provision paper for the period ending yesterday for $2.5B.
Out of that the Finance Ministry secured some $473M for the Guyana Sugar Corporation.
That was in addition to the more than $1.8B that was already been provided to GuySuCo for additional inflows.
The Ministry of Agriculture received $125M which went to hydrometeorology and provided for additional inflows.
The Ministry of Public Works and Communication benefited from more than $700M for various projects that target sea defences, roads and government buildings.
The Ministry of Education under that second supplementary paper received an additional $573M in addition to the $497.7M it had already received for the BEAMS programme.
The Ministry of Housing at that time was provided with $400M as was expected, given that President Jagdeo had earlier in the year announced the Low Cost Housing programme revolving fund and the money has been identified for this purpose.

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