$6.515B Ministry of Communities budget approved

DPI, Guyana, Tuesday, December 12, 2017

The Committee of Supply approved the sum of $6.515B for the Ministry of Communities during the consideration of the 2018 National Budget on Tuesday.

Under the Ministry’s $4. 751, 320B Capital Expenditure, $1.027B was allocated for subventions to municipalities and Neighbourhood Democratic Councils (NDCs), to enhance the environment and improved community services.

Minister of Communities, Ronald Bulkan.

The sum of $20m is also provided in the 2018 Budget, for the Local Government Commission. The monies are expected to be used for the provision of the vehicles, furniture, and equipment.

Opposition Member of Parliament (MP), Gail Teixeira questioned whether the $30M allocated to the Local Government Commission (LGC)in the 2017 budget was spent. Minister of Communities, Ronald Bulk explained that the commission is in the process of creating a bank account where $20M will be transferred and the remaining $10M was handed over to the Guyana Association of Municipalities (GAM). MP Teixeira further queried if permission was sought for the monies to be transferred into an account and Minister Bulkan responded in the positive.

Questioned by Opposition MP Neil Kumar, as to the location of the office of the LGC and whether it is currently functioning as an autonomous body, Minister Bulkan explained that the commission is currently occupies a space in the Parliament Building. He said that the body is in the process of identifying a building to house the LGC. The Minister further added that the commission is governed by an act which specifies details relating to its operation.

Local Government

Budget 2018 provided for the sum of $178.6M for the completion of designs for sanitary landfill sites at Bartica, Linden and Mahdia, the construction of Cell II at Haags Bosch Sanitary Landfill Site, Eccles, and the rehabilitation of access road to Rose Hall Landfill Site.

A total of $10M was also allocated for reviews of the provision of social and physical infrastructure for new townships of Bartica, Lethem, Mabaruma and Mahdia and the Urban Renewal of Georgetown. While $10M will also be expended for capacity building of local organs.

Housing and Water

The sum of $3,889.600B was allocated for the improvement of water supply services in coastal areas and hinterland communities, and a feasibility study for use of surface water from Hope Canal. While $200M will be spent in 2018 for the Georgetown Restoration Programme.

Under the Hinterland Water Improvement project, the sum of $150M was also allocated for the completion of water supply improvement at Oronoque, Koko, Kamwatta, Koberimo, Chenapau, Campbelltown, Chinoweing and Paramakatoi, the upgrading of water supply systems at Mabaruma, Port Kaituma and Moruca, and the installation and extension of transmission and distribution systems at Lethem

In an effort to improve water supply systems on the coast, $218M will be spent for the completion of wells at Port Mourant, Bartica, Sophia, Sparendaam, Vergenoegen, Pouderoyen and other areas. $60M was also provided for the completion of water supply systems at Wisroc, Half Mile, Canvas City, Ituni, and drilling of a well at West Watooka. New water treatment plants will also be constructed at Cornelia Ida to De Kinderen, Diamond to Herstelling and Cumberland to Williamsburg at a cost of $2.2B.

Meanwhile, the sum of $240M has been allocated for the Hinterland Sustainable Housing programme.

 

By: Synieka Thorne

 

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