Budgetary investments bring achievements – MPs Coonjah, Smith

As day one of the national budget debates came to an end, the government’s financial plan received full support from members of Parliament (MPs) who highlighted the achievements made in the previous year and the benefits of projects planned for 2024.

MPs Juliet Coonjah and Dr Tandika Smith closed the national debates on Monday at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC) commending the $1.146 trillion, themed: ‘Staying the Course: Building Prosperity For All.”

PPP/C Member of Parliament, Juliet Coonjah

MP Coonjah, in her contributions to the debates, sought to highlight the performance of students in Essequibo County at the National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA) and the Caribbean Education Examination Certificate (CSEC), owing to the opportunities created by the government.

“Our region is shining, Mr Speaker, investment brings achievements…These are children who will be future leaders,” she stated while emphasising that the national budget will create further opportunities in the education system.

Coonjah also laid out the improvements undertaken by the government in 2023 in Region Two such as the rehabilitation of four nursery schools and six primary schools, while two new nursery schools will be constructed among others. Housing, water, infrastructure, health and other social improvements were also undertaken there, the MP relayed to the National Assembly.

“With the passing of the 2024 budget, Region Two will see overall improvements,” she stated.

Meanwhile, Dr Tandika Smith said the country’s first-ever trillion-dollar budget is a win for everyone since it is people-centred, and will focus on improving livelihoods while injecting disposable income into the pockets of the ordinary people.

Some of the initiatives include the increase in the Because We Care cash grant, old-age pension, increase in public assistance and other initiatives.

PPP/C Member of Parliament, Dr Tandika Smith

Moreover, some $9 billion, inclusive of carbon credit funds is earmarked to boost village economies and implement projects that are geared towards village sustainability.  Guyanese will also see improved healthcare service delivery with the billions being invested in the health sector.

Dr Smith also highlighted that over 200 roads are currently being constructed in Region Three, while works are advancing on the new Demerara River Bridge and the Schoonard to Crane highway. In 2023, about 18 health centres and other institutions were rehabilitated.

“There is no better time in history…This is the future, this is the government that will ensure our dreams and aspirations become a reality, this is the government that will continue to deliver on our promises,” she emphasised.

The budget debates continue throughout the week after which, the National Assembly will be dissolved into the Committee of Supply to consider the estimates proposed under each ministry and agency.