[www.inewsguyana.com] – A decision is still to be made on the way forward following the more than $5 billion in budgetary allocations disapproved by the parliamentary opposition to the Office of the President.
In a move described by President Donald Ramotar as “callous and unthinkable”, opposition Members of Parliament (MPs) voted to remove some $5.2 billion in funds for his office’s operations.
The $245 million for Presidential Guard services, the $122 million for the Institute of Applied Sciences and Technology (IAST), $119 million for the Guyana Office for Investment (Go-Invest), $73.5 million for the Guyana Energy Agency (GEA), $28.5 million for the Commissioner of Information’s Office, $17 million for the Integrity Commission, $95 million for the provision of developmental, other humanitarian aid and other initiatives and $10 million for the Office of the First Lady have all been affected.
The funds for the Presidential Guard Services included sums to update its transportation fleet, including a new Presidential vehicle and communications equipment.
Go-Invest is tasked with attracting potential investors and investments from both local and foreign entrepreneurs. Among activities planned for this financial year was the attendance and participation of local businesses and enterprises in international trade shows and expos.
The sums for the IAST were earmarked for furthering the University of Guyana based agency’s efforts at advancing its research efforts into bio-fuels and clean energy alternatives, as well as salaries for its dedicated team of staffers.
The efforts of the GEA to enhance its monitoring and ensuring the sanctity of the nation’s imported fuel supplies will be curtailed.
The denial of funding for the Integrity Commission and the Office of the Commissioner of Information is seen as another cause for concern, since both were called for by the political opposition. According to Minister in the Ministry of Finance Juan Edghill, the fact that they were demanded by the opposition which then reversed their positions and denied them funding is “inexplicable”.
The funding for the First Lady’s Office was also cut by the Opposition. The funds which are used at the Head of State’s discretion were allocated under the $95 million allocation for the provision of developmental, other humanitarian aid and other initiatives.