Senior Finance Minister tables $ 25.9 Billion Supplementary Appropriation Bill to Parliament
–catering for expanded, accelerated developmental programmes in various sectors
As Government continues to keep its promises to citizens for their lives to be improved and ensure that Guyana’s landscape is transformed at a fast-pace and its borders are protected, Senior Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh on Monday presented a $25.9 Billion Appropriation Bill in Parliament.
The Bill comprised Financial Paper No 4 of 2023 relating to Contingency Fund advances on the Current and Capital Estimates for the period October 1, 2023 to December 8, 2023 and Financial Paper No. 5 of 2023 for Supplementary Funding for expanded work programmes for the period ending December 31, 2023. The Financial Papers were presented during the 69th Sitting of the National Assembly.
Financial Paper 4 catered for over $1.9 Billion in Contingency Fund advances for various agencies, including the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Home Affairs, Agriculture and Education with $643 Million to support operational costs of the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GUYSUCO) and additional costs with respect to the provision of security for a number of regions.
Financial Paper No. 5 caters for over $12.3 Billion for the agriculture sector including provisions for subsidies and contributions in local organizations and additional resources for the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority to execute drainage and irrigation works. These drainage & irrigation interventions are aimed at mitigating the effects El Nino has had on Guyana’s agricultural sector. Farmers have been demanding additional support to protect and boost the productivity of their crops and livestock and Government had committed to providing this support. It would be recalled as well that in November last, President Ali had indicated that as part of the $5 Billion cost of living allocation, $850 Million would be used for the acquisition of fertilizer to be distributed to the farmers.
Further, over $1 Billion was sought under the Ministry of Public Works for maintenance of roads, procurement of equipment and for the Transport and Harbours Department with the country continuing to undergo massive infrastructure transformation.
In terms of the health sector $3.9 Billion was sought largely to support the rollout of healthcare infrastructure with $3.3 Billion provided for the construction of the New Amsterdam Regional Hospital, which adds to the suite of several new hospitals as part of Government’s broader agenda to modernize the health care system.
Under the education sector over $530.6 Million was sought for additional inflows under the Caribbean Development Bank loan for the skills development and employability project.
Under the Ministry of Home Affairs, over $2.8 Billion was sought for various initiatives including $2.8 Billion to boost the firefighting capabilities of the Guyana Fire Service including their operations in hinterland and outlying areas. The Financial paper also sought nearly $1.3 Billion for the Guyana Defence Force for defence and security support while under the Regional Development programme, more than $527 Million was catered for for a number of development programmes in Regions 1, 6, 7, 8 and 9.
Under the Office of the Prime Minister, supplementary provisions sought included more than $188 Million for additional resources to support the Linden Electricity Company Incorporated to sustain Ituni’s operation, the Mahdia Power and Light Inc. and Kwakwani Utilities, as well as for additional inflows under the Government of India’s supported Line of Credit due to an acceleration in the delivery of solar photovoltaic systems.