By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com] –Under the new Fiscal Transfers Act, the Georgetown Mayor and City Council is eligible for some $21.6 million from a total of $55 million for the 2014 financial year but is yet to access the money while the other five municipalities have received its subventions.
Local Government Minister Norman Whittaker explained yesterday (Monday June 16), that the money is being withheld by his Ministry because of the Council’s failure to make a subvention proposal.
He said, “There was no meeting to deliberate on any subvention proposal and we are not going to take tax payers money and make it available until and unless that is done.”
Whittaker further explained that that the Council is the only municipality that is currently operating without a budget. He said City Hall’s budget is currently with a Finance Committee after which it is to be sent to a properly constituted statutory meeting of the Council.
“That has not happened!” he said, adding that “So there is no budget, they are the only municipality that has not made a submission with respect to its subvention.”
The Minister said his Ministry has expended all efforts to have the Council convene a meeting and continue to try.
“Every time they fail to convene a meeting a lot of the businesses of the citizens of Georgetown are left unattended, including financial issues.”
Whittaker added too, “I see in the newspaper today the talk about the road, heaps of garbage… we working to see how we can assist but ultimately it is the Council that collects tax payer’s money that ought to make an effort to deal with it.”
On a separate note, the Minister announced that the $500 million cleanup campaign will commence shortly in the Capital with $100 million have been set aside to be spent on rehabilitating the deplorable Le Repentir Cemetery.