$111.2B approved for Finance Ministry
– $800M to advance Amerindian land titling
The whooping $111.2 billion budgetary allocation for the Ministry of Finance and its subsidiaries and programmes, was approved by the Committee of Supply in the National Assembly late Friday night.
Senior Minister in the Office of the President with Responsibility for Finance and Public Service, Dr Ashni Singh, in response to questions by the opposition, disclosed that out of the $50.4 billion earned under the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS), $800 million will be used to advance the Amerindian Land Titling (ALT) project.
According to Dr Singh, 24 investigations will be conducted while 15 absolute grants are expected to be issued and 5 15 demarcations are to be completed in 2024.
“This represents … a very significant scaling up of the work that is being done on Amerindian Land Titling (ALT), which we have treated as amongst our highest priority since our return to office,” Dr Singh posited while reminding the house that the project remained stagnant under the APNU+AFC.
“Our predecessors, the APNU/AFC ground this project literally to a halt and conducted virtually no Amerindian Land Tilting Activities,” the minister added, highlighting that resources were available to advance this programme.
Similarly, the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) programme for the hinterland programme was halted by the opposition even though resources and a plan were designed to implement the project.
Now, Dr Singh stressed, the government has resumed these critical projects and is delivering results to the Amerindian population.
Funding for various agencies under the ministry was also approved, including $9.2 billion for the Guyana Revenue Authority’s current expenditure. According to Minster Singh, efforts will be undertaken to enhance the institutional framework of the Petroleum Unit of the GRA with sums allocated in the current expenditure.
“The Honourable member would be pleased to know that amongst the units that have been identified for strengthening during the course of 2024, not only with additional recruitment but also training and other capacity building efforts is, the Petroleum Unit,” he disclosed when questioned by Opposition MP, Volda Lawrence.
An additional $2.5 billion is allotted to the GRA for the provision of software, furniture and equipment among other capital projects.
Some $21.4 billion is also earmarked for salary adjustments that will be announced at a later date in the year.
The Bureau of Statistics has been allotted $1.6 billion to expedite its operations including the National Population and Housing Census while monies for several other agencies were also approved.