Local Gov’t Minister holds meeting in Campbelltown, Madhia-updates residents on budget cuts and their implications
Georgetown, GINA, May 17, 2013
Residents of Cambelltown and Mahdia, Region Eight were brought up to the speed with the Opposition’s imposed cuts to the 2013 National Budget, and their likely implications for hinterland development, when Minister of Local Government and Regional and Development Ganga Persaud in the company of the ministry’s Permanent Secretary Collin Croal and the Regional Executive Officer Ronald Harsawack held meetings in the villages recently.
Residents at the meeting in Campbelltown, Region Eight.
The visit to the communities formed part of a ministerial outreach to the region on May 15 and 16 and is a continuation of Government’s policy of reaching out to the communities, far and near, to have direct dialogue with the residents, to listen to their concerns and together arrive at solutions.
The Minister explained to residents that while Region Eight’s 2013 budgetary allocation was successfully passed, this was not the case for some programmes.
Highlighting the projects that the Opposition slashed; Minister Persaud stated that the cuts had implications for the citizens of the communities, the region and Guyana.
Minister of Local Government and Regional Development Ganga Persaud addressing residents at the meeting in Campbelltown, Region Eight.
The maintenance of airstrips, as well as flights into and from the hinterland is in jeopardy as a result of the slashing of the entire 2013 budget for the transport sector.
Under the $20B budget for the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS), $19B was cut. This would affect the Amerindian Development Fund (ADF) under which falls the allocations for the Community Development Project (CDPs) aimed at transforming the economies of Amerindian villages. Also under the LCDS and for the benefit to hinterland development is funding for land titling.
“It is disappointing when we as a people are seeking to bring projects for the benefit of the people, and we have some people who will seek to deny those people the enjoyment of these benefits,” he said.
He said that the administration is hopeful that when Parliament meets on May 22 that the Opposition would rethink their position on the cuts.
Residents at the meeting in Mahdia, Region Eight
Meanwhile he reaffirmed Government’s continued commitment to embracing the development of all Guyanese, as resources permit.
During the meetings, Minister Persaud also stressed the role of the village council in the villages’ development, and urged the members to recommit to their duties of guiding the development of their respective villages, a move that can only support Government’s investment, he pointed out. He said that the council can assist the process by using whatever resources are available at their disposal to bring advancement to their respective villages.
The Minister heard residents’ concerns pertaining to transportation, roads, health and education delivery and youth development, and committed to working with the residents, the region’s council and administration, as well as respective ministries to bring resolution to these issues.
The Minister’s visit was part of a two-team ministerial outreach to the region that also saw Minister within the Ministry Norman Whittaker visiting the villages of Princeville, Tumatumari and Micobie.