By Fareeza Haniff
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Prime Minister, Samuel Hinds in his capacity as Acting President, assented to the Appropriation Act 2014 on Wednesday, April 30.
This is according to the country’s Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister, Anil Nandlall, who told iNews (www.inewsguyana.com) on Thursday, May 1 during a telephone interview that a copy of the assented Act was sent to the Clerk of the National Assembly last night.
Only yesterday, Head of the Presidential Secretariat and Cabinet Secretary, Dr Roger Luncheon told a media conference that President Donald Ramotar did not assent to the Act since he was attending a CARICOM/Mexico Summit.
The President is scheduled to return to Guyana sometime today.
The assent of the Appropriation Act ratifies the 2014 budget. As a result of the one seat majority by the combined Opposition in Parliament, expenditure of some $37.4 billion was cut from the National Budget, which initially totalled $220 billion.
Dr Luncheon bemoaned these cuts. He said, ““One can hardly, in the remaining months of the fiscal year, 2014, see the government discharging its constitutional and statutory responsibility, fettered by the provisions in the Appropriations Act, reflecting the intentions of the majoritarian opposition. One can anticipate that the administration would have to undertake those interventions that are necessary to allow it to discharge its constitutional responsibility and to do so within the meaning and within the exercise of the laws of Guyana”.
According to Dr. Luncheon, there are several courses of action which may be taken by the Head of State and government, one of which includes the possibility of calling snap-general elections, but no information has been “gleaned” from the president thus far.
Among agencies and entities negatively affected by the political opposition’s actions, include the Office of the President’s Administrative Arm, the capital expenditure earmarked for the Amerindian Affairs’ Ministry, the Specialty Hospital which encompassed and wide range of vital areas and the CJIA expansion Project.