$250B National Budget for 2017 passed
GINA, GUYANA, Wednesday, December 21, 2016
The $250B budget that was presented to the National Assembly on November 28, 2016 was passed today, after a period of consideration and examination of all sectors.
Over the past two weeks, all government agencies’ budgets were examined by the opposition Members of Parliament who questioned each minister intensely on how the monies will be spent.
Key sectors include: education which was allocated $43.1B or 17 percent of the national budget, agriculture with an allocation of $20.6B, and public health with an allocation of $31.2B.
The aim of the education sector is to ensure that there is adequate access to education across Guyana, while the public health sector will work towards ensuring equity and equality in health services’ delivery. The agriculture sector is expected to see transformed production in all sub-sectors through agricultural diversification, improved drainage and irrigation systems, and improved research, and extension, in addition to education marketing among other areas.
Meanwhile, the public security sector’s budgetary allocation of $17.301B will work towards solidification of its Citizens Security Strengthening Programme (CSSP) while ensuring the crime rates are lowered in 2017. Other sectors will work collaboratively with other ministries and agencies to ensure that the theme of the budget, “Building a diversified green economy, delivering the good life to all Guyanese,” is fulfilled and met in 2017.
Other agencies’ budgets that have been approved include:
Office of the Prime Minister – $882M
Parliament – $1.5B
Office of the Auditor General – $755M
Guyana Elections Commission – $2.030B
Ministry of Presidency – $6.004B
Ministry of Social Cohesion – $90.1M
Ministry of Business – $1.7B
Ministry of Communities – $5.9B (Regional allocations not included)
Ministry of Finance – $24.9B
Ministry of Foreign Affairs – $5.164B
Ministry of indigenous Peoples’ Affairs – $2.463B
Ministry of Natural Resources – $798M
Ministry of Public Infrastructure – $34.6B
Ministry of Social Protection – $16.6B
Ministry of Telecommunications – $2.3B
The reading of the Appropriation Bill 2016, Bill Number 24 of 2016, by the clerk of the Nation Assembly was facilitated three times so as to have all budget estimates approved and passed as printed by the Parliament Committee of Supply.
Before the National Assembly was adjourned, Leader of Government business, Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo and Member of Parliament, Juan Edghill along with the Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr. Barton Scotland all culminated the session by wishing each other, the media and the Guyanese public best wishes for the season.
The Prime Minister said, “I want to (also) take the opportunity to wish members of the government, ministers and parliamentarians, the leader of the opposition, the government chief whip, opposition chief whip, and all other members of the opposition a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and hoping to see you here in the New Year.”
Opposition MP, Edghill said, “On behalf of the leader of the opposition, Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo, and all of our MPs of this side of the House, the PPP/C and all of our supporters countrywide to extend to you, Sir (Speaker), the staff of the Parliament Office, and to our colleagues on the other side of the House, the media and by extension all of Guyana ‘Merry Christmas’.
The Speaker in closing the session said, “Christmas is a time for giving and loving, a time for togetherness and not separation. It is a time for appreciating what we have, giving thanks for it, and be willing to share it with others, that’s my humble appreciation of Christmas and so I wish that for all of us.”
The National Assembly is expected to have its next Sitting on January 5, 2017.
By: Delicia Haynes