Consideration of Estimates begin in National Assembly – Minister Harmon defends MOTP allocations.
DPI, Guyana, Monday, December 11, 2017
Under intense scrutiny in the Committee of Supply in the National Assembly, Minister of State, Joseph Harmon defended allocations of over $95M budgeted for training. He explained this will cover the expenses for planned outreaches to be conducted by the Department of the Environment and the Office of Climate Change, as they spread awareness in all schools across Guyana on the Green State Development Strategy (GSDS).
In response to Opposition Chief Whip, Gail Teixeira, the State Minister committed to providing a schedule of these outreaches which will be held in 2018. He further explained that students, from Nursery to Secondary, will be educated about climate change effects within the context of the GSDS, and what they can do to join the fight against climate change.
The Minister also defended the increase, from $55M in 2017 to $71M in 2018, for the Ministry of The Presidency (MoTP’s) fleet of vehicles, citing the acquisition of eight new vehicles and the phasing out of the older model cars, in keeping with Government’s standards as it relates to the importation of vehicles. A supply list of the vehicles and their respective registration numbers will be provided to the Opposition.
The increase under Office Supplies, Minister Harmon told the Committee of Supply, is to offset the expenses that fall under the Department of Events, to allow for the efficient dissemination of information to the public on national events.
In 2017 $6.1M was budgeted for Office Materials, but only $1.4M is projected to be spent in 2018. In this regard, Minister Harmon clarified that this is part of Government’s austerity measures.
Under Defence and National Security (052), concerns raised by the Opposition regarding the increase from $80.3M to $86.3M for contracted employees were quelled as the Minister revealed that this caters for the increases in wages and salaries for Public Servants.
Increases in allocation under line item 6242, Maintenance of Buildings caters for the repairs to the Civil Defence Commission’s Emergency Center and its alternate building, which Minister Harmon highlighted, is important to its Disaster Preparedness strategy.
Two billion, 224 million, 875 thousand dollars is budgeted under Policy Development and Administration, while Two hundred and ninety-eight million, seven hundred and sixty-six thousand dollars is budgeted under Defence and National Security.
By: Stacy Carmichael
For more photos, click on the link to the DPI’s Flickr Page