Budget Speech delivered by Hon. Minister Winston Jordon at the 6th Sitting- Eleventh Parliament of the National Assembly of Guyana6462 12 Aug, 2015
Mr. Speaker, I rise to move the motion for the approval of the Estimates of the Public Sector and the Budget for the Financial Year 2015 and, in doing so, I wish to indicate that Cabinet has recommended that the National Assembly proceed upon this motion, pursuant to Article 171 Paragraph 2 of the Constitution of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana.
Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to present the first budget of this Government. I am humbled by the confidence reposed in me to execute this challenging, but rewarding, exercise. At the outset, let me thank the President, my colleague Members of Parliament, and all those groups and individuals who responded to invitations to exchange views on the crafting of this budget. I also want to thank all those letter writers and the ordinary person in the street, who approached me with advice and requests, especially for pension and wage increases. I assure you that your contributions are valued highly and that your efforts have not been without a listening or sympathetic ear.
Mr. Speaker, on May 11, 2015 the Guyanese people held their breath as they proceeded to the polls to exercise their democratic right to elect a Government of their choice. Those premature elections were occasioned by an intransigent minority People's Progressive Party/Civic (PPP / C) Government that refused to cooperate with the combined majority opposition, comprising A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) and the Alliance for Change (AFC). Following the end of the mandatory parliamentary recess, on October 10, 2014 the Government employed delaying and dilatory tactics in re-convening Parliament. Faced with the certainty of the passage of a motion of 'no confidence', which was to be piloted by the AFC, with the full support of APNU, the Government opted to prorogue the Parliament. Under intense international and domestic pressure to either re-open the Parliament or seek a new mandate from the Guyanese people at fresh elections, the Government opted for the latter course of action. It finally dissolved the Parliament on February 28, 2015 and announced General and Regional Elections to be held on May 11, 2015.
Mr. Speaker, as will be recalled, the Guyanese people came out in their thousands; they were determined to bring an end to the morass, hopelessness and helplessness that had enveloped our country. They were determined to bring an end to a Government that had wreaked havoc on our society - sapping it of its energy and stripping it of its dignity and dynamism. And so, Mr. Speaker, after S anxious days, during which the Guyanese people agonized as they waited, the results of the General and Regional Elections were finally announced on May 16, 201 S. The coalition of the APNU +AFC, which had earlier sealed a formal relationship to fight the PPP IC on a joint platform, was declared the winner. The Guyanese people finally exhaled after holding their breath against the stench of corruption, nepotism and discrimination that had assailed their olfactory sense. For too long, our people had to suffer under a Government that cared less about them and more about their friends and associates. Their infectious enthusiasm and their joy of being liberated were evident in their presence at the swearing-in and subsequent inauguration of the eighth Executive President of the Republic, His Excellency Brigadier (Retired) David Arthur Granger. His elevation has since seen the return of: respect for our nation's symbols; morals and morality; and an overwhelming pride in being Guyanese. This was most evident in the spontaneous cleaning of the environment by many groups and individuals. It was their way of reacting to the dawn of a new day - one that held out promises of new vistas, and of renewed hope and cooperation.
Capital Expenditure Highlights
- Completion of wireless and terrestrial networking system from Moleson Creek to Anna Regina/purchase of laptops and equipment $557M
- Solar grid-tied demo project/solar street lighting Linden/Sodesdyke Highway $11.4M (Also listed as Lighting for Linden Soesdyke highway $15M)
- Rebuilding of Umana Yana and repairs to PM’s residence $82M ($60M in 2015)
- Rehab of NCN tower New Amsterdam provision for flooding at TV radio stations Broadcast tower in Linden $50M
- Rehab and extension of public serice staff college 57M 19M in 2015
- Bypass road Ogle to Great Diamond 10.4B (India loan $10B)
- Dredging of Demerara and Essequibo Rivers $100M
- Completion of Amaila Falls road $220M
- Studies for Brasil Land Transport link and Deep Water Harbor $50M
- Rehabilitation of Eteringbang and Mahdia airstrips $160M
- Rewiring of Cultural Centre and new curtains $16M ($9M for 2015)
- Construction of Smyth Street Nursery School $50M ($18M for 2015)
- Restoration of Georgetown $300M
- Arms, ammunition and gas masks for police $29M
- Vehicles, trucks, motorcycles, outboard engines, bicycles, boats for police $193.7M
- More fire tenders $45M
- GDF vehicles boats trucks motorcycles ATVs $154.4M
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