On Friday, budget 2019’s sensitization and training programme kicked off at the Arthur Chung Convention Centre.
There, Finance Minister Winston Jordan read the riot act to various heads of budget agencies, permanent secretaries and regional heads.
He questioned the reason for the lack of performance from certain ministries.
For instance, he noted the increased allocations to the health sector but continued drug shortages.
“Why do we have increasing allocations to the health sector, but continued drug shortages and less hospital inspections than previous years? Health accounts for 12.5 per cent of the national budget, in 2018. What intervention within the budget proposal will resolve this conundrum of increasing allocations but declining availability?” he questioned.
He also made a reference to the performance of the education sector and the Public Infrastructure Ministry.
“Why do we have increasing allocations to education but still less than 50 per cent of our children as passing Math and English? Education accounts for 17.2 per cent of the national budget in 2018. What in the budget proposal will resolve this?” Jordan questioned. “Why do we have increasing allocations for maintenance and infrastructure development, yet our Public Sector Infrastructure Programme is filled with requests to rehabilitate existing infrastructure?”
Jordan urged them to do introspection and critique their systems. This means, according to Jordan, offering workable solutions.
The workshop is slated for two days and at the end, the technocrats are expected to be better equipped to formulate their budget requests.