‘We believe in autonomous local government authorities’ – Min. Bulkan
DPI, Guyana, Thursday, December 20, 2018
Minister of Communities, Ronald Bulkan has reiterated the government’s commitment to autonomous Local Government Authorities (LGAs). The minister says that this commitment has seen subventions to the local government organs increased by almost 70 per cent under then APNU+AFC administration’s stewardship.
“In 2015 when we assumed office, the capital subvention that was given to each NDC was the sum of $3M. We increased that in last year’s budget to $4M and in 2019 that figure is being taken to $5M. So, in a few short years we have increased the capital subvention for NDCS from $3M to $5M and for municipal councils, in each of our ten towns, that figure is $18M,” Minister Bulkan explained.
The Communities Minister was at the time appearing on a Budget in Focus programme on the National Telecommunications Network (NCN) on Wednesday, December 19.
In addition, Minister Bulkan said the government is supportive of the restoration of Georgetown to a state befitting that of the capital city.
In keeping with this commitment, he said, the city’s subvention has been increased by fifty per cent over the last year.
“It was $200M. It is being taken to $300M, and the overall allocation to the local government capital is $2Billion in 2019. Of this, the capital grants are $602Million… and there’s $268Million for overall sanitation management in the 2019 budget to support initiatives and sanitation works in selected areas across all of the [local authority] areas,” he further explained.
According to Minister Bulkan, $647M has been allocated to support the sanitation programme within all the local democratic organs, except the municipality of Georgetown.
Among the sanitation management programmes catered for is the Community Enhancement Worker Programme which allows for the payment of salaries to sanitation workers within Neighbourhood Democratic Councils (NDC’s) and Municipalities. This plan allows for the payment of a stipend of $25,000 monthly for twenty hours of work by sanitation workers, on a part-time basis.
Image: Department of Public Information.