Monday, December 7, 2009

Supplementary funds are intended to, inter alia, strengthen our sea-defences; boost the low-income housing programme etc.

-Where was the transparency in government spending when the PNC was in power?

With respect to this, Governance of a country is integrally linked to the welfare of the citizens and their peculiar needs. When a national budget is prepared it takes into account the many factors that are basically given to extant and projected estimates. However, it is not possible to factor all configurations that may emerge from unforeseen circumstances and which may require additional financial outlay to address the needs of the people, because daily life is an evolutionary process and the needs of the people vary in accordance.

Developing countries like Guyana are resource-constrained and depend heavily on externally-funded projects to enable and accelerate its developmental programmes.

Within this framework, last Thursday the Minister of Finance tabled supplementary financial papers for the Government in the National Assembly.

This is a normal procedure used by governments worldwide when additional financial outlay is required to initiate and/or expand ongoing programmes.

However, in Guyana, the political culture is a rare and peculiar phenomenon, where supposedly intelligent professionals who comprise the collective opposition parties more frequently react negatively to any proposal from the Government to better the lives and lifestyles of the people, as has happened in this instance.

As expected, the knee-jerk reaction to the presentation of the supplemental budget estimates by Minister Dr Ashni Singh elicited a plethora of negative responses by the collective opposition.

One wonders if, just once, they could genuinely put the welfare of the people before their ambitions, use their reason and intelligently peruse the proposed expenditure and the purposes intended instead of making sweeping and unequivocal assumptions and denigrating every effort of the administration to address the needs of the people.

Finance Minister Dr Ashni Singh, in his presentation, said that the monies are intended to, inter alia, strengthen our sea-defences; boost the low-income housing programme; address the solid-waste disposal problem; and the Education-for-All fast-track initiative. Intended also is the promised $400m support to the rice industry. For the first time ever, the needs of our hinterland communities are being addressed in a holistic fashion, but the El Nino phenomenon is causing severe dislocations in some areas. Also, some of this proposed expenditure is intended to address the problems being currently faced by Guyana’s first people.

There are communities all across the country that urgently need additional infrastructural works done and the sufferings of the peoples of those communities are real, so it is imperative that their needs are met.

If the opposition parties had done their homework, they would have realised that a significant percentage of the supplementary amount is directly linked to projects funded by donors. This indicates that the rate of implementation is high, thus the amount budgeted in the beginning of the year is inadequate to complete project-related activities. This position of criticism of the government is amazing and it is exactly because of this approach that genuine concerns for criticisms by the Opposition are often viewed skeptically by the public.

There are crises worse that ours in every country, even in the developed world. There are also corrupt persons in every country. However, in the national interest, the opposition parties need to discard their politicking and be supportive of genuine efforts to address the needs of the people.
Everyone will win that way.


  1. The opposition is always criticizing the government of corruption when it comes to monies,they have a negative reaction for a better lifestyle and lives for the people of Guyana.they need to be more supportive when it comes to the need of the people.when the PNC was in power u had no clue where the government spending was going cause there was no sign of development.

  2. Exactly, there were no development nuder the PNC governance, all there were ,was exploitation of the people, starvation, people couldn't own a land, nor build a house, then there were others who had to support them in order to have a meal when the comes, which was just sick. All they can do now, is try to bombard the people with a set of lies, and segregating the because our government is trying and people can actually see the developments,it is aching there hearts, that is why they always have to criticize.... with nothing better to do.