By Tracey Khan – Drakes
[www.inewsguyana.com] –Government has been unable to provide students studying aboard through government funded scholarships with their monthly stipends due to the absence of an Appropriation Act and a sitting Parliament.
This unfortunate disclosure was made on Wednesday April 01, by Cabinet Secretary Dr. Roger Luncheon during his post cabinet media briefing at the Office of the President.
He explained that government is only allowed to utilize one twelfth of the previous year’s expenditure from the consolidated funds for its expenditures of the current year.
“Save and expect that one twelfth rule which makes provision for the expenditure for government business to continue to be available even in the absence of an Appropriation Act, issues like paying salaries and issuing vaccines and such like that couldn’t conceivably be withheld because there wasn’t an Appropriation Act,” Dr. Luncheon explained.
The one twelfth provisions in place only allow government to execute its most necessary functions for its capital and current expenditures, according to Dr Luncheon.
He explained that government’s inability to honour a commitment that was made to the 2014 top performer Elisa Hamilton, who automatically qualified for a government scholarship and was promised by President Donald Ramotar to study at a University of her choice in Guyana or aboard is as a result of the absence of both the Act and a sitting Parliament.
Hamilton has expressed much disappointment in sections of the media since government has now reneged on its promise. She was informed of this move by way of letter from Permanent Secretary of the Public Service Ministry Hydar Ally, who stated that she can only apply to study in Guyana, China and Cuba in the fields of engineering, dentistry and medicine.
Luncheon noted that this matter can only be resolved during the sitting of the 11th parliament.
“Therefore until such time as the 11th Parliament is conveyed and a budget is passed and an Appropriation Act becomes law those expenditures will not be met.”
The 16 – year – old Queen’s College student achieved 19 Grade 1s and one Grade 2 to become when she became Guyana’s top performer at the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examination for 2014.