By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Amerindian Affairs Minister, Pauline Sukhai announced on Friday afternoon, (May 2) that all Amerindian Development projects are currently stalled as a result of the disapproval by the combined opposition in the National Assembly of the Ministry’s capital budget for the fiscal year 2014.
Sukhai said that there is still no plan ‘B’ in place but made it clear that the administration has committed to doing everything legally to ensure that the monies cut from the $220B National Budget is reinstated.
At a press conference, she explained that over the last week officials from her Ministry visited some nine Amerindian communities where sentiments of disappointment and objection to the cuts were expressed. The Minister said it mirrored similar sentiments expressed during the three days of protest outside the Parliament Building following the cut to the budget which affected the $1.1B Amerindian Development Fund.
She told the news conference that the meeting was large and attended by over 6,000 persons where they expressed how disheartened there were by the cuts and possible effects that can flow.
“It’s a hard hit and the indigenous people are in full condemnation of the cuts, the comments from the meetings are very telling,” Sukhai noted.
The Minister told reporters that the Amerindians are being treated like third class citizens by the Opposition, adding that at least the members should have consulted with people at the grassroots before disapproving the funds.
“There view is that the Opposition should have respect and listen… I personally continue to be worried that the Opposition continues to talk in the media about the disapproval as if the Amerindians are an illiterate bunch of people.”