$1.1B for community enhancement programme

-$522M to strengthen local democratic organs

Some $1.1 billion has been allocated for Community Enhancement Workers (CEWs) to continue efforts to preserve and enhance their communities’ aesthetics and infrastructure.

CEWs falls under the Community Infrastructure Improvement Project (CIIP) and not only creates jobs, but also boost villages and regional economies and the tourism sector.

Senior Minister in the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance, Hon. Dr. Ashni Singh told the National Assembly, on Friday, that this approach will enable the CEWs to continue the works, which began in the latter half of 2020, to maintain the cleanliness of their Neighbourhood Democratic Councils (NDCs).

The CIIP was started in 2014 and was modified in 2015 to decentralise resources to the Local Democratic Organs (LDOs). This remodelling has seen the day-to-day management of the workers transferred from the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development to the local democratic areas via the Community Enhancement Initiative, which falls under the CIIP.

It also enables NDCs to provide services to the communities and to encourage citizens to pay their rates and taxes to facilitate maintenance of crucial structures and other development works.

With this in mind, Dr. Singh said that $522 million will goes towards strengthening the LDOs across the 70 NDCs and 10 Municipalities to provide efficient services as well as developmental works for the residents within their boundaries.

The LDOs will also benefit from technical support to execute their roles and functions, enhance leadership and capacity development to provide quality service.

“Over the past five years, a spate of financial irregularities plagued the local government organs alongside weak oversight and poor management of local government systems. Our administration will right these wrongs,” Dr. Singh said.

An additional $172million has been budgeted for capacity building, institutional strengthening and infrastructural works for the LDOs and will include rehabilitation work at the Parika, Charity and Mon Repos markets.

In 2020, the Local Government Ministry began its rehabilitation works at Mon Repos market at the cost of $10million, which focused on its fences, roof, sanitary area, drainage among other areas.

Minister, Hon. Nigel Dharamlall told DPI that the initiative was part of the Government’s overall commitment to creating an enabling environment for business.

The works had stopped during the Christmas season but recommenced in January.

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