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Copyright ©2014 Parliament of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana.

Budget Speech - Mr Jafarally—2014

Hits: 3269 | Published Date: 04 Sep, 2014
| Speech delivered at: 71st Sitting - Tenth Parliament
| Speech Delivered by : Mr. Faizal M. Jafarally, MP

Mr. Jafarally: Mr. Speaker, I rise to join my colleagues in this House and the people of Region 6 in commending Dr. Ashni Singh and his technical team for presenting yet another budget which is people oriented.
Budget 2014, being the largest budget, has given to us no new taxes or increase in taxation. This Budget was crafted after a process of consultation with business, labour and even people at the grass root level who were given an opportunity to be consulted. It is important to note after the presentation of the 2014 Budget the business community came out and supported the budget measures; labour supported the budget measures; even the rice farmers at Mibicuri and Yakusari in Black Bush Polder are heartened to know that their recommendations for a bridge to get to their rice fields is provided for in the 2014 Budget. The residents of Orealla and Siparuta who made recommendations for revetment in their community it is provided for in the 2014 Budget. The sugar workers at Edinburgh on the East Bank of Berbice who wanted a street to be rehabilitated, it is provided for in the 2014 budget.  The students at Canje Secondary School who want the school to be extended so they can be more comfortable it is provided in the 2014 Budget.
It is important to note that the political opposition of this parliament refused to come to the process of consultation for the 2014 Budget despite the many pleas of the Minister of Finance.
Listening to the presentation by Members of the Opposition they have not demonstrated anything new; they have not brought any new measures from those presented by the Minister of Finance. It demonstrates that the rumblings they are making is like a barrel that is empty; they have nothing to offer. It seems to me that the political Opposition in this Parliament is not interested in consultation. They want to prepare the National Budget but let me remind them that it is the responsibility of the Executive to prepare the National Budget and the Executive is on this side of the House.
In Region 6 we have seen tremendous success and progress in every facet of our lives. In housing for example, more than 10,500 Berbicians, Guyanese, are able to acquire their own home in the 14 housing schemes and 24 squatter settlements across Region 6 – sugar workers, nurses, policemen, market vendors, and hire care drivers were able to acquire their own homes under the PPP/Civic Government. The Ministry of Housing, under the dynamic leadership of Hon. Irfaan Ali, young progressive man, in 2013 $1.4 billion was spent for infrastructure rehabilitation of streets, laying of pipe lines, drains, and in areas such as Kilcoy, Chesney, No. 76 and No.77 Housing Schemes; Bloomfield, Tain, No. 79; some 13,530 residents benefitted under that infrastructure development.
In 2014, the Ministry of Housing will spend $310 million in areas such as Bloomfield, No. 77, Cumberland, Adelphi, Williamsburg; another 14,350 residents will benefit. That is progress under the PPP/C Government. What did we see under the People’s National congress (PNC), nothing; absolutely nothing under the PNC.
The Hon. Mister of finance Dr. Ashni Singh has presented the 8th consecutive budget, and every single year we have seen a sustained or increased growth in our economy. What do we see... well the Hon. Carl Greendige is not there so I will not mention anything; it is unfair. Housing has seen tremendous success in Region 6.
Mr. Speaker, whether you permit the Hon. Minister of Education to speak or not that is your right as Speaker of this National Assembly but that will not prevent the success story of education in our country. Government has recognised the importance of education unlike the PNC Government in the past. The importance of growth and the development in our country over the years has seen increased budgetary allocation in the education system. Living by a mission to realise equity and increased access to quality education the Department of Education implemented a three-pronged approach to management this year. Heavy emphasis was placed in health service training of teachers of all levels; supervision of instruction programmes; monitoring of resources utilisation for efficient school management and curriculum delivery, and greater effectiveness in the education system.
For the performance of our students at the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) level in 2013 the percentage in Region 6 was 80.3%; in 2013 it is 81.93%, a total of 11,452 students wrote the CSEC examination.
Out of the 2,305 students who wrote the National Grade Six Examination, 93% were awarded secondary school places in Region 6. That is what the education sector is doing in Region 6.
All of our secondary schools in Region 6 and more than 40% of our primary schools are equipped with Information Technology (IT) Labs. The 1500 teachers of Region 6 should be commended. I, as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Region 6, would like to take this opportunity to commend the 1500 teachers of Region 6 who have done a significant job over the years and we recognise their contribution towards the education sector.
The Hon. Member Dr. Ramayya, in his presentation said that he has not seen any sports ground rehabilitated in Region 6. Just a stone throw away from him, the Whim Sports Club, in your backyard Hon. Member, they have new fence, land filling, rehabilitation of the pavilion and a new pitch was laid. [Interruption]
Burnham Park in New Amsterdam – a new pavilion, washroom facilities; Bermine Cricket Ground on the East Bank of Berbice – new pavilion; Young Warriors Cricketer Club. Thirty nine grounds were rehabilitated across Region 6 at a cost of $68.9 million. That is what this Government is doing to ensure that our young people use their energies in an efficient way, by involving sporting activities. The Hon. Minister of Sport spoke about lighting at the Albion Sport Complex, where we can play football and cricket at nights. That is what we are doing for the young people of Region 6.
The Hon. Member Dr. Ramayya also mentioned that he has no confidence in the Minister of Home Affairs. Let me say this Dr. Ramayya, whether you have confidence in the Minister or not, it is your business. The people of Guyana have absolute confidence in Minister Rohee; the leadership of the People’s Progressive Party have confidence in Minister Rohee; the Cabinet of Guyana have confidence in Minister Rohee; and the President of Guyana has confidence in Minister Rohee.
Let me say this also, it was the personal intervention of the Hon. Member Clement Rohee, Minister of Home Affairs, and the Ministry of Home Affairs that has changed the lives of 500 young people in Berbice, in a area such as Angoy’s Avenue, Gibraltar - Fryrish, Glasgow - Edinburg, [Inaudible] Port Mourant, who were given a second chance in life by being given skilled training programmes in carpentry, masonry, computer science and hairdressing. That is what Minister Rohee has done.
Only a few days ago I had the opportunity to visit some of these young people. A young woman who benefitted from this programme used to be selling cakes on a donkey cart. Today, she has a parlour and she employs seven persons. That is progress. A young woman in Angoy’s Avenue who was trained as a hair dresser, today she has a salon and she is training 15 people. A young man who was trained as a mason in Gibraltar and another young man who was trained as a carpenter in Fryrish have come together and employed seven persons building furniture. That is progress and that is the difference Minister Rohee has made in the lives of the young people.
The Hon. Member Dr. Ramayya spoke about sugar. First of all let us examine what you are saying Dr. Ramayya, Hon. Member and what your leader, the Hon. Member Khemraj Ramjattan is saying. We recall the statement was made by the former, whether it is PNC or APNU, Member of Parliament; it is difficult to understand, Anthony Vieira, who called for the closure of the sugar industry – “Stop growing cane and mind tilapia.” The very day the Hon. Member Khemraj Ramjattan said he supported that closure of the sugar industry. Khemraj Ramjattan, the Hon. Member said that; the closure of the industry, you supported that. [Interruption]
Mr. Speaker: Okay Members, let us get through this final speech.
Mr. Jafarally: During the 2013 Debates, the Hon. Member Carl Greenidge said that, “The sugar workers is ayo business.” Mr. Speaker, we have no apology; we in the PPP/C have no apology. The sugar workers concern will always be the concern of the PPP/Civic Government. We are concern about their welfare and the well-being and we will continue to be concerned about them. We heard about plan to close the sugar industry if ever the APNU comes to office, but that will never happen. The people of Guyana will never...
Mr. Speaker: One second. Mr. Jafarally, can you wait a minute? Hon. Members there is equal noise coming from both sides. I think in fairness to the Member...
Hon. Member: We can hear him.
Mr. Speaker: Okay, if you can hear him and you all like what is happening. Hon. Member please proceed, you have about seven minutes more to conclude.
Mr. Jafarally: Yes Mr. Speaker. We heard about plans to close the sugar industry if the Opposition should ever gain the range of powers. But the people of Guyana would never allow that, so the sugar workers can feel secure that the PPP will remain in Government and their jobs will be secure because the PPP/C Government is concerned about their welfare.
Drainage and irrigation – we have seen through the Minister of Agriculture and the National Drainage and Irrigation Board, the installation of three brand new pumps at Black Bush Polder, New Forest and Rose Hall. Some 30,000 residents will benefit from the operation of those three pumps. In addition, we were able to acquire 12 mini excavators to work in the residential area across Region No. 6. My good friend Dr. Ramayya is worried because when it rains water is no longer accumulated on the land, so he has nothing to go on television to talk about. He is worried –my good friend. We have seen immense growth and development in our country. [Interruption]
The Hon. Member Lt. Col. (Ret’d) Harmon, during the Budget Presentation did not know where Belvidere was. Could you imagine that?    [Lt. Col. (Ret’d) Harmon: [Inaudible]    Hon. Member you said that, but let me remind you ...  [Interruption] Belvidere is about 11 miles from New Amsterdam and 90% of the workers there are employed by the Guyana Sugar Corporation. Let me remind you where is Benab. Benab is a community at Number 63 Village. I am certain when I called the area Number 63 Village a lot of the Members of the Opposition are already shaking because that is a area that is predominantly a rice producing area. It was in that community the lives of two young men was stuffed out in 1973, protecting their right to vote and their vote to count at the place of poll. The Guyanese people know very well whose hands are stained with the blood. All the Guyanese know the role the army played.
Mr. Speaker: One second please, Mr. Jafarally. That was a justice of the High Court, a Commission of inquiry was conducted, it was attended to, it made a ruling, it made report and so I ask that you withdraw that statement. It is also to be stricken from the records.
Mr. Jafarally: Very well, Sir. Mr. Speaker, the point I am trying to make...
Mr. Speaker:  You can make your point in other words; make your point, but just change your words.
Mr. Jafarally: Mr. Speaker, the point I am trying to make is that he made his ruling and those who were involved are happy to say, “It was not me.” But when there was the Commission of Inquiry into the Linden shooting with eminent Caribbean jurists who said the Hon. Member Clement Rohee was cleared of any wrong doing – he was not there – they could not have accepted it. Mr. Speaker that is the point I want to make. Yet, another Commission of Inquiry is coming up looking into the assassination of this great Guyanese Dr. Walter Rodney. Then we start hearing I am not taking part – the APNU – and their sidekicks the Alliance for Change (AFC) saying, “We are not taking part.” The Guyanese people have a right to know who were responsible for the assassination of Dr. Walter Rodney. What are we afraid of? Let us go before the Commissioner of Inquiry. [Interruption]
Mr. Speaker: Mr. Jafarally, two minutes to wind up please. Thank you. One second, Mr. Jafarally. I recognise Mr. T. Williams.
Mr. T. Williams: Mr. Speaker, what does the AFC has to do with Dr. Rodney’s assassination?
Mr. Speaker: That is not a point of order Mr. T. Williams. Go ahead please, Mr. Jafarally.
Mr. Jafarally: Mr. Speaker, Dr. Ramayya, the Hon. Member spoke about the crime, but Mr. Speaker, I ask the Hon. Member to take a closer look. Who were associated with the “fine man” gang? Who? [Interruption] I did not call any names.
Let Dr. Ramayya tell us defended the criminals that killed the people at Lusignan. Those are the things the Guyanese people want to know.
Mr. Speaker: One minute to wrap up and conclude, Mr. Jafarally. [Interruption]
Ms. Teixeira: I have noticed today and in the last two days that when the Opposition persons are speaking, the majority are given some accord. That is not happening with the Government speakers on a number of occasions. Once Government members seemed to be stepping some people’s corns, it becomes a big noise arrangement. Mr. Speaker, I am asking, can you please protect some of the Government speakers, particularly, our young backbenchers who are making their points, as some Members may be unhappy with them, but nevertheless we have to listen to each other.
Mr. Speaker: Mr. Jafarally, you have one minute to conclude your presentation.
Mr. Jafarally: Mr. Speaker, this PPP Government has brought Guyana to the point where there is absolute; freedom to speak when you want it Dr. Ramayya and how you want; freedom even to come to Parliament and pander to the whims of the naysayers. In exercising this freedom, we need to be guided by our conscious and should do so with what is accurate and what is right.
In conclusion, I wish to refer to part of the 2014 Budget Presentation by the honourable and distinguish Minister of Finance, Budget 2014 seeks to continue the work of this PPP/Civic Government to build a more modern and prosperous Guyana. It seeks to promote both the creation of employment and business opportunity. We do not deny the business community to come and be heard in Parliament, like when they were denied when they were trying to come through the Hon. Member Manzoor Nadir and they were prevented by the Opposition. We encourage the business community.
We seek to expand our physical infrastructure and improve linkages with our neighbours. We seek to improve the quality of life, the social service and address the concerns of our citizens and about the cleanliness of our physical surroundings. It seeks to further improve the competitiveness of our business environment and strengthen our institution.
I call on my Colleagues on the Opposition side of this House; let your conscious be your guide. Do not attempt to cut the budget because doomsday is going to befall you.
Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. [Applause]

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