[www.inewsguyana.com] – The Local Government Ministry is working with the Neighbourhood Democratic Councils (NDCs) and the municipalities to have 2014 budget estimates that allow for greater flow of resources towards provision of services to residents.
Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Norman Whittaker said that the ministry has been examining in some detail, the subvention programmes and the budget estimates as submitted by the NDCs and municipalities to the ministry to ensure that they fit in to the ministry’s 2014 focus of greater delivery of service to citizens.
According to the Government Information Agency, Whittaker said the ministry has therefore, asked a few of the NDCs to correct and resubmit their subvention programmes, so that a significant amount of the revenue accrued from rate payers will be used to provide services.
The two NDCs in Region One have been asked to revisit their budget, while in Region Two, all five of the NDCs budget has been approved, the Minister said. For Region Three, eight out of 14 budgets have been approved, while the other six were asked to adjust theirs.
In Region Four, nine of 15 were approved, with six asked to do corrections. In Region Five, all 10 NDC budgets have been approved, whilst in Region Six, six of 16 budgets have been given the nod. Region Nine’s one NDC budget was approved, whilst Kwakwani, in Region 10 has to make some corrections, he said.
He noted that the ministry is not instructing the NDCs on what they must do, but is instead guiding them, which as the oversight ministry it is expected to do.
With regards to the municipalities, Minister Whittaker said that the ministry has examined the budget estimates of Anna Regina, Linden, Rose Hall, Corriverton and New Amsterdam and has yet to approve any of these. He said that in many instances, increases especially in the area of expenditures need to be justified, and as such the ministry has asked the municipalities to do so. They are also to provide precise details on the works that they are seeking to execute.
The Minister said that the ministry is still to see a budget from the Georgetown Municipality, though it has understood that the council did meet and consider its budget for 2014.