Budget 2018 informed by many visions- Min Bulkan
DPI, Guyana, Tuesday, December 05, 2017
Minister of Communities, Ronald Bulkan vigorously defended the 2018 budget describing it as one informed by many visions.
The Minister was responding to claims by members of the Opposition that the budget was “lacking vision” and is “uninspiring.”
He noted that the aim of the budget is to strive for a better Guyana, resting on the pillars of better governance, infrastructure for integration, national security and building sustainable communities with investments in water, sanitation and housing among others.
Minister Bulkan explained that the budget provides for all sections of society and has invested massively in infrastructure which will spur economic activities, create jobs and support businesses, whether micro, small or medium.
Focusing on local governance, Minister Bulkan said the budget speaks to decentralised governance and empowerment of people to manage their own affairs at the regional, municipal and local level.
He noted that this is far removed from policy that was perpetuated under the previous administration. He also called out their continued undermining of the government’s effort to empower the local government system.
“Those reported labels, coming from someone who was one of the main architects of local government stagnation, of stifling the local government system; of depriving the system of needed resources and more recently of discouraging local leaders from participating in the rebuilding of the system which can only redound to their benefit and to the benefit of the various communities. This deliberate attempt at undermining the empowerment of our people, of undermining the empowerment of constituencies is perhaps the best example of the “lack of vision,” Minister Bulkan responded.
The Minister further expounded that budget 2018 provides $2.9B to fund Local Government Elections (LGE) which will further ensure decentralised governance. He added that it also makes substantial provisions to empower and equip local government organs.
A total of $1.6B is allocated for local government which caters for democratic renewal of 2018 Local Government Elections, financial security and funding of councils, housing, water, the Local Government Commission and regional development among others.
The Minister concluded that the budget is informed by many visions. “I have presented one. Colleagues who have spoken before have presented others…later we will hear of our vision and programmes ….”
By: Ranetta La Fleur
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