Min. Rodrigues resolutely defends infrastructure spending in Budget 2024
– says “infrastructure is essential” for economic growth
In what can be described as a passionate debate before the National Assembly on Thursday, the Minister within the Ministry of Housing and Water Susan Rodrigues delivered a fact-based presentation, substantiating the government’s position that investments in infrastructure are necessary for the country’s continued growth.
Referencing a study conducted by two leading World Bank Economists, Cesar Calderon and Luis Serven, the minister explained that the government will not be shamed out of investing in the infrastructure that will catapult Guyana’s economic growth even further.
“The evidence suggests that infrastructure is essential for a strong economy and has the potential to lift families out of poverty by reducing inequalities,” the minister said before pointing out, “The results are that…growth is positively affected by the stock of infrastructure assets…and income inequality declines with higher infrastructure quantity and quality. These two results combined suggest that infrastructure development can be highly effective in combating poverty and income inequality.”
The minister said the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Government will not ignore the request of the Guyanese people to fast-track investments in the standard of living and quality of life.
“What must we do also with the pleas of the residents who come to our community meetings? Are we supposed to ignore the pleas of residents at community meetings for better roads? All of my colleagues are in the fields…the number one complaint is the state of the roads?” she asked.
Minister Rodrigues mentioned that 30, 350 people are now landowners since the PPP/C assumed office in August 2020.
Of that figure, 13,834 are women.
Speaking about the investment in young people as it relates to housing, the minister said 16,094 of the 30, 350 people are young.
The minister said 28,016 of the lots allocated were in the low, moderate, and middle-income brackets.
This is in stark contrast to the less than 8,000 house lots allocated in five years during the tenure of the APNUAFC administration. The budget, she said, is packed with the right mix of capital, recurring and current expenditures to keep Guyana moving briskly along the development trajectory.
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.